A loss of hearing can occur as a result of multiple conditions. One may be born with a congenital defect which prevents any level of hearing whatsoever. While this may be a rather permanent ailment (at least at the present), other conditions are much more numerous. An infection may result in a ruptured eardrum, prolonged damage to the inner ear may occur due to constant exposure to loud noises (this is known as tinnitus and can also cause severe hearing impairment) and an accident or blow to the head may cause trauma that damages hearing temporarily or permanently.
In summary, the common causes for hearing loss are:
- A birth defect.
- A severe infection.
- Exposure to loud noises over time.
- A physical blow to the head.
The Benefits of a Hearing Aid and the Processes Involved in Treatment
Hearing aids work by amplifying the noises normally heard in the outside world. Computerized technology allows these devices to transmit sound at a higher volume to the affected ear or ears. The result can be a marked increase in the level of noises detected and a better quality of life.
To determine the level of impairment, the patient should go to a hearing clinic. A wide spectrum of sounds will be tested and thereafter, specific hearing devices will be chosen based upon the loss of hearing discovered.
A listening device will then be prescribed. Brand names such as Oticon and Phonak are common manufacturers and provide a wide range of different hearing devices designed around the metrics described earlier.
The patient will be asked to wear the hearing aid for a number of days or weeks and then return to the hearing center for further tests as the device may need to be slightly adjusted, but generally they work very well.
Process of treatment:
- A diagnosis of the level of hearing impairment.
- The selection of a device that will prove most beneficial.
- A subsequent return to the centre to determine whether the unit may need adjusting.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
In a certain number of cases, hearing loss can be avoided by following a few simple rules.
- Always wear adequate hearing protection when around loud machinery or other noises.
- Consult a doctor upon the first sign of an ear infection.
- Immediately see a hearing specialist if any ringing or buzzing is heard within the ear.