Can I Prevent Hearing Loss?

January 21, 2020 4:33 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are many signs that your ability to hear may be declining. One day you realize you have trouble holding conversations in noisy rooms, or your significant other complains that your music or television volume is turned up too loud. Age plays a role in hearing loss, but your hearing could start going earlier depending on the kinds of environments you are exposed to on a regular basis. Others are born with a hearing deficiency.

Hearing loss in California may be common, but it’s not inevitable. Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about hearing loss.

Causes of hearing loss

To better understand why your hearing is changing, you first have to understand the types of hearing loss that can affect you:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs after damage to the inner ear nerves, or the nerves that carry sound to a certain part of the brain. Causes include injuries, infection, tumors, certain medications and exposure to excessive noise. The only treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is wearing hearing aids.
  • Conductive hearing loss: Caused by a condition that blocks sounds waves from transferring to ear nerves, conductive hearing loss is known to affect both ears, but may also only be in one ear. The most common causes include ear wax build up, ear infections, ear trauma and certain diseases that affect the ear canal, eardrum or bones in the middle ear. In many cases, it can be corrected and restored.
  • Mixed hearing loss: Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. This type occurs if you have a nerve type of hearing loss from noise trauma or aging, and then come down with an ear infection or ear wax impaction, which causes hearing to suddenly get worse.

How to prevent hearing loss

The only type of hearing loss that is totally preventable is noise exposure hearing loss. Any noise measuring 85 decibels or above is considered excessive, and this can cause damage to the cells in the inner ear responsible for converting sound so it can signal the brain. (For reference, a conversation at normal volume is about 45 decibels, and heavy vehicle traffic is about 85 decibels.) Here’s how to avoid hearing loss caused by excessively loud noise:

  • Always put your health first. Minimize your exposure to loud, persistent noises, or remove yourself from the situation.
  • When using earbuds or headphones to listen to music, avoid turning the volume up all the way.
  • Always wear ear protection when doing activities or jobs that expose you to noise at or above 85 decibels, such as working with heavy machinery at a construction site or practicing your accuracy at the firing range.
  • Plan to see your doctor for a baseline hearing test and standard hearing tests from time to time. These can help identify early hearing loss and monitor hearing loss in progress.

For more information about hearing loss in California, call or visit the team at Valley Hearing Center today.

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