The main cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noise. This is often referred to as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Extended exposure to loud noises from power tools, firearms, heavy machinery and loud music can damage tiny hair cells in the inner ear responsible for converting sound waves into signals the brain can interpret.
Other causes of hearing loss include trauma, certain medications, head or ear injuries, genetic predispositions, infections and diseases, and advanced age.
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What are two major signs that you may have hearing loss?
Two of the major signs that you may have hearing loss are an inability to hear faint sounds and difficulty understanding speech. People who are suffering from hearing loss may find that they have difficulty hearing low-volume or high-pitched sounds.
This can include whispers, conversations in a group, or noises from birds, animals, or wind chimes.
Additionally, people who have hearing loss may have difficulty understanding speech. This can manifest as difficulty hearing people in a crowded room, difficulty understanding conversations with more than one person speaking, or difficulty hearing people on the phone.
People may have to ask for people to repeat themselves, turn up the volume on the TV, or ask people to speak more slowly and clearly. These issues can be signs of hearing loss as people’s ears do not register sounds as well as they used to.
Can you describe 3 common signs of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a common problem that can occur due to aging, exposure to loud noises, illnesses, or genetics. It can be difficult to detect hearing loss and some people do not even know they have it.
The following are three common signs of hearing loss:
1. Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds: Many people have difficulty hearing or understanding higher-pitched sounds such as the voices of young children, ringing of a phone, or the sound of birds chirping.
This is often a sign of hearing loss, particularly with age-related hearing problems.
2. Difficulty understanding conversations in noisy situations: Hearing loss can make it difficult to understand conversations in noisy situations such as a restaurant or busy street. People with hearing loss may also find it difficult to focus on a single conversation when there are multiple conversations in the room.
3. Feeling tired or strained after social situations: People with hearing loss may feel tired or strained after social situations due to having difficulty hearing and understanding conversations. This fatigue may arise from the mental energy required to decipher the conversations, even if the person is not aware that their hearing is the cause.
What causes hearing loss to get worse?
Hearing loss can worsen with time due to a number of different factors. Age plays a major role in hearing loss progression as the ability to hear can decrease with natural aging. Exposure to loud noises over 85 decibels over long periods of time can damage the delicate structures of the ear and can also contribute to hearing loss progression.
Poor nutrition, alcohol, smoking, and diseases such as diabetes can all cause hearing loss to get worse. In some cases medications can also cause hearing loss to deteriorate. Lastly, genetics can play a role in how one’s hearing progresses as it tends to run in families.
It is important to seek help from an audiologist if you or a loved one begins to experience hearing loss. Early intervention and treatment can help prevent further hearing loss.
Does wearing a hearing aid make your hearing worse?
No, wearing a hearing aid does not make your hearing worse. In fact, hearing aids are designed to help people with hearing loss hear better. By amplifying sound, they make it easier to understand conversations, follow directions and enjoy leisure activities.
People who use hearing aids often experience improved quality of life because they can take part in social activities and conversations with ease. Additionally, studies have shown that people with mild to moderate hearing loss benefit from wearing hearing aids, as they are able to understand speech better and experience improved hearing.
If your hearing has been tested and you have been prescribed a hearing aid, it is safe to use and will not make your hearing worse.
How do you stop hearing loss from getting worse?
The most important way to stop hearing loss from getting worse is to protect your hearing. Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, so avoiding loud noises or wearing ear protection when in loud environments can help prevent additional hearing loss.
Additionally, checking with a doctor if you notice any changes in hearing, such as difficulty understanding conversations or ringing in your ears, can allow early detection and treatment of hearing problems.
Other strategies to protect hearing include limiting time with headphones or personal music players and avoiding exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxins. If you use earphones, it is important to set the volume levels to 60% or less of the maximum volume.
Additionally, using average-volume limits for children, such as 85 decibels for 8 hours and under, is best for children and teenagers to prevent hearing damage.
By following these guidelines, you can help stop hearing loss from getting worse, and even maintain your hearing for a longer period of time.