Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems all over the world. There are many reasons contributing to it, mainly the changes in our lifestyles, increase in noise pollution, excessive stress, and other diseases that indirectly affect our hearing abilities. Hearing loss is a crucial disability that affects our lives in many ways – how we act socially, how we understand things, as well as how we respond to situations based on our understanding – they all seem to be affected by hearing loss.
Old age, illnesses, intake of certain medications, synthetic and processed diet and of course, genetics – they all play a role in affecting our hearing in one way or another. Many of these causes, as we see, are not medically treatable. They are a part of our lifestyle. In such scenario, the best treatment is actually the prevention of ear damage, by being cautious and careful.
Hearing loss does not start suddenly, in many cases. It happens over the course of time, with hearing abilities fading slowly without us noticing it at all. You may not even perceive it as a serious problem, and might even think that maybe people around you need to speak a bit louder, or there is some problem in your phone or network. It is normal to assume that there is no problem with your hearing because there is no obvious incident that took place to cause the hearing damage.
Hearing loss can be classified into four degrees and it refers to the amount of hearing loss:
- Mild hearing loss: You can hear all fine during one on one conversation, but if there is noise in the background, it becomes difficult for you to comprehend the words.
- Moderate hearing loss: You start missing out on many words people say and ask them to repeat their sentences on phone or in person.
- Severe hearing loss: You need a hearing aid to understand what people are saying. You can hear few of their words but to make a complete sense, you would need the aid. The person would have to lip-read to make sense of what someone is saying.
- Profound hearing loss: The person cannot hear anything below 90 decibels. They would either need to have people talk to them extremely loud, that is normally not possibly or need a hearing aid all the time. This severity of hearing loss is near deafness.
Symptoms of hearing loss:
- You cannot follow a conversation if two or more people are speaking at the same time.
- You may feel that people are not speaking openly or are just mumbling.
- You will hear the words wrong, and mix similar or rhyming words.
- You will watch TV with its volume to high and feel like it is normal.
- You may hear constant buzzing, tingling and ringing sensations in your ear, which may lead to tinnitus.
- You may feel the need to face the person you are talking to, to take the cues from lip-reading, body language, and gestures or to make a complete sense of the situation.
- It becomes difficult for you to hear what people are saying if you are in a restaurant, or have noises in the background.