Humans are blessed with five senses. All of them are equally important but sight and hearing dominate and problems are always attended to early at the onset
Loss of hearing can be very unnerving and stressful. Even though you are the focus in a conversation you cannot respond appropriately because you are not sure of what you heard. Scarier is the fact that this temporary hearing loss could become permanent. For the elderly it is all the more painful to know that their faculties are diminishing with age. There are different types of hearing loss-Conductive, Sensorineural and a combination of both. In any of these types of hearing loss, impairment can be treatable or permanent, depending on the prognosis. If natural hearing cannot be recovered, a hearing aid can provide almost as much clarity
How do we hear? Sounds are carried by air waves through the hair cells within the ears. Any damage to the hair cells causes hearing loss. There are a many factors causing hearing impairment.
Ageing causes hearing impairment. There are other causes which lead to loss of hearing. A big cause of hearing impairment is exposure to loud noises. Like loud and prolonged fire crackers, proximity to airports, working in a high pitched sound area. People working in high noise zones should always have their ears covered and protected against noise. Long term exposure to loud noise can cause ringing in the ears and eventually lead to impairment. People living near airports also need to keep their ears protected
It is a normal mechanism for the ears to produce wax. In the normal process wax dissolves itself. Impacted Earwax or wax accumulated or stuck in the ear canal can hinder sound waves traveling through the ear canal to the ear drum. De-waxing will help restoring hearing
Infections- severe and unattended viral and bacterial infections like colds, throat infections, middle ear infections can lead to a temporary hearing loss
Medicines-The intake of some medicines for a debilitating disease over an extended period of time also can lead to hearing loss. On discontinuing as per medical advice, the impairment gets reduced and back to atleast near normal
The ears, nose and mouth are closely interlinked. It means that dental issues, problems affecting the mouth can also cause temporary hearing loss.
Of course injury to the ear or head also can cause hearing loss,
Another cause which people do not think about is change of pressure in the environment, also known as barotrauma. This occurs during long flights, scuba diving, deep sea diving and other adventure sports.
Taking care at the onset can save from long term loss. At the first sign of hearing impairment ensures your ears are wax free. Control all Ear Nose Throat (ENT) infections. Wear ear plugs or muffs in very cold areas or areas with high decibel sound range. For a globe trotter it is a good practice to be prepared in advance for decompression. Take special care against decompression before adventure sports, scuba or deep sea diving, flying long distances.This applies to adventure sports enthusiasts also. Ensure that your ears are not constantly attached to sound devices like Mobile phones, pods, headphones et al constantly. Studies conducted show constant use of the mobile directly to the ears severely impairs hearing. If it is necessary to be on the mobile continuously then use earphones or speakers, ensuring sound does not carry directly to the ears. Musicians, music addicts all need to re-route sound into their ears. Excessive exposure to hair dryer, blender or processor can also cause hearing impairment – use ear plugs or muffs to minimise the sound.Staying off sound for an extended period like about 16 hours at a stretch can regain hearing to a great degree. With so much information available people should protect themselves against temporary hearing loss and live a healthy stress life.
Never self diagnose!!!Always consult a doctor.