Hearing Loss and Hearing Protection

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. It’s commonly caused by aging, but there are also other causes, such as exposure to loud noise, ear infections, and certain medicines. In some cases, it can be genetic.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to know there is help available. There are several treatments for hearing loss that range from simple strategies to surgically implanted devices. It is also important to recognse the signs of hearing loss early on so you can begin treatment sooner and help minimize any further damage.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Early prevention is key to minimise hearing loss, some of the most common warning signs include difficulty paying attention when in a noisy room or struggle understanding conversations with multiple people talking at once. Other symptoms may include turning up the TV volume excessively or having trouble recognizing familiar voices on the phone. As the condition progresses, individuals may struggle hearing higher-pitched sounds like birds singing or ringing alarms and phones.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur suddenly due to trauma or over time as part of the natural aging process (presbycusis). Other causes include infection or disease in the inner ear, tumors in the head or neck area that affect a person’s auditory nerve language comprehension skills (acoustic neuroma), prolonged use of medications that are toxic to the inner ear (ototoxic drugs) and exposure to very loud noises over time (noise-induced hearing loss).

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, consult your local doctor immediately for an exam and diagnosis. They’ll likely refer you to a Hearing Care Professional for an audiological assessment using specialised equipment to measure your levels of hearing sensitivity.

Once diagnosed with hearing loss, treatment options depend on its cause and severity. For mild cases of sensorineural hearing loss caused by age-related changes in your inner ear structure, digital amplification systems like personal listening devices (respectively called PSAPs and PLDs) may be used while more severe cases require more advanced technology such as implants or surgical procedures along with sound amplification systems. Your doctor will advise you on which type of system

Facts about Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a prevalent defect that can negatively affect an individual’s quality of life. To understand what hearing and its impairment entail, it helps to gain knowledge on how we physically hear. Sound waves travel via the ear canal onto our eardrum which directs vibrations through small bones in the middle ear before entering into the cochlea – otherwise known as ‘the organ of hearing’. The cochlea is lined with thousands of tiny hair cells whose function involves responding to sound frequencies by sending signals up towards your brain for processing. Recognising and addressing issues around auditory health are essential steps towards living a fuller life experience.

Here are some facts about hearing loss.

  • More than 1 in 3 Australians have noise-related ear damage
  • It affects adults aged 20 to 69 years of age
  • Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women
  • Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors, including environmental noise, aging, genetics, illness and medications
  • Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression
  • Treatment options include hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive listening devices.

Professionals in the field of audiology know that your brain does the actual hearing. The ears’ role is to modify and translate sound energy into nerve signals, allowing them to be understood by our brains as sounds.

References:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

National Institutes of Health

Australian Government | Department of Health and Aged Care

Hearing Protection

Our ears are a precious gift, allowing us to experience music and other sounds that enrich our lives. However, if we don’t take the proper precautions when subjected to loud noises over time – such as from concerts or industrial machinery – it can cause permanent damage to our hearing.

Taking care of your hearing is an essential part of maintaining quality lifestyle.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) unfortunately cannot be cured, however preventative measures and assistive listening devices such as hearing aids can help protect your precious auditory senses from harm.

Here are 5 different types of hearing protection to invest to help save your auditory health.

1. Earmuffs – If total noise cancellation is your goal, then earmuffs may be the perfect choice. Available in a variety of styles and sizes from small to large. These devices provide reliable soundproofing for any environment, even allowing those with electronic components to have conversations or filter out sudden noises.

2. Silicone Ear Plugs – Audiologists recommend silicone earplugs for a single-use hearing defense. Unlike foam plugs, they simply rest on the auditory canal and can sometimes fall out of place during wear. This is perfect as an occasional protection against everyday sound disturbances.

3. Custom Moulded Earplugs – When it comes to hearing protection, custom earplugs are tailor-made for your individual needs! Whether you’re a musician who wants sound clarity without the risk of damage or an adrenaline junky out on a ride – these plugs will stand guard against harmful noise levels and provide peace of mind that lasts for years.

4. Non-foam and Foam Earplugs – Non-foam Earplugs are made of silicone, rubber or plastic. These earplugs are reusable and inexpensive. Great for people who are in a budget. The Foam Earplugs are expandable and well used in construction sites and factories. However, they can be used several times only.

5. Canal Caps – Canal caps are a convenient and discreet form of hearing protection. Their flexible tips act as an ear canal “cap,” blocking out potential risk for your ears without having to invest in bulky, cumbersome items like plugs or muffs that can be difficult to on/off regularly. Canal caps provide just enough peace-of-mind when it comes keeping sound levels safe.