How to Treat or Manage Hearing Deterioration
By Space Coast Daily // September 6, 2022
Do you suspect that your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be? Hearing deterioration can happen for a vast number of reasons, and if you have found yourself turning up the volume more than you used to, or are struggling to have face-to-face conversations when there is a lot of noise in the environment, then it is worth investigating further.
Take a Hearing Test
Now could be a good time to try free audiology online testing and discover if your hearing really is on the decline. But, if you do an online hearing test and find that you really are suffering from hearing loss, what should you do next to ensure you can keep on living a good life? Here, we look at your next steps if you are suffering from hearing loss:
Is it a Temporary Thing?
In many cases, hearing loss can be caused by things that can be treated fairly quickly and easily. If your hearing loss was in one ear, came on suddenly, and was accompanied by pain, it could well be that the cause is an ear infection. These can be treated very effectively with antibiotics, and after seeing a doctor and getting a prescription, you should find that you lose the pain and can hear normally again very quickly.
It is still worth testing your hearing again and tracking how well you can hear for the long term, but in cases of infection, usually normal hearing is restored very soon after a course of antibiotics.
Another cause of temporary hearing loss can be something as simple as a build-up of hardened ear wax. The ears produce wax as part of their normal function, and generally it doesn’t cause any issues. However, it can sometimes build up and become dry and hard, causing a physical block that mutes the sounds you hear.
This may happen in one or both ears and can affect people of any age, including children. It is a very simple problem to fix because you can get ear drops over the counter that soften the wax, or you can get your ears syringed by a nurse.
Either of these approaches will lead to clear ears and better hearing. However, to even know that you need to take one of these routes, you need to verify that you are suffering from hearing loss, and that is where the online tests become important.
When Hearing Loss Isn’t Temporary
While things like infections and wax are the most common causes of hearing issues, there are also hearing problems that result in a permanent loss of hearing quality. If you perform an online hearing test and then have your loss of hearing investigated, there are a few prognoses that will mean your hearing will never get better from its current status.
For a lot of people, hearing loss is caused by many years of prolonged exposure to loud noise. While it may be recommended to wear ear defenders in certain environments or to keep the volume of music or audio played through headphones below a certain threshold, many of us tend to get lax about this over time.
In general, the odd occasion of hearing a jet take off, going to a loud concert, or playing music loudly through headphones to drown out other noise, will not cause long-term damage. People may complain of a ringing in the ears, loss of sound at certain frequencies, or even pain after a single incident of loud noise, for instance, a concert, but usually the ears recover from this. It is repeated or prolonged exposure that leads to long-term issues.
Long-term hearing issues can also simply be hereditary. Some people begin to lose their hearing as they age, just as other people lose their hair or have eyesight issues. It is not a typical part of getting older as many people think, but for those predisposed to hearing loss with age, it is just as unavoidable.
What Can You Do?
In most cases, identifying that hearing loss is happening and then figuring out the underlying cause is the best approach. As we have explained, for many people, there is a way to reverse the condition, but if the cause is not a simple wax issue or an ear infection, and the damage is permanent, there are still things you can do to live a normal life.
The best approach is to investigate hearing aids. Modern hearing aids are discreet and very effective, so there is really no more reason to be reluctant to look into them than you would be if you thought you might need glasses or contact lenses.
Test your hearing right away if you think you have hearing issues. It is always better to know and be able to take action, and with hearing loss, the action needed may be simpler than you think.