What happens when you lose your sense of hearing?

Published: 22nd October 2010
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A wife complains that her spouse never seems to listen to what she is talking about and prefers his newspaper more, and this is a fairly common complaint among the missus. But then perhaps, the mister should be given the benefit of the doubt on this situation. Nevertheless, it could also be true that the call to let the dog in, set the table or take out the trash might not truly have been heard by this husband. Through a national survey done a couple of decades ago showed that 14.5 million American now have hearing loss that interferes with their ability to understand conversations and to fulfill their social and vocational duties. America's Department of Health Education and Welfare states that people from ages 17 to 44 have hearing destruction making this situation top the list of chronic health problems in the U.S., and they also revealed that women suffered from it less than the men. Back then, trumpets for the ears were used but today, we see excellent solutions in today's hearing aids which are very much like transistors.

It has become a fact now, after a recent study showed that many patients today would go ahead and buy ear aids without the prescription of audiologists or otologists who are both experts in the ears and its health and the numbers have risen to over three fourths of these American patients already. There is one case stated by a New York paper's staff member.

Ever more, his hearing grew worse and so he bought a hearing aid from a retailer as he was worried for such should not be the case for a middle aged man like him. His hearing worsened in the next few years. He sought medical attention too late as the cancer there was inoperable and he only sought help after the pain and the discharge from his ear. It is only at otology clinics that hearing patients are first fitted with an aid appropriate to the amount of hearing loss they suffer, briefed on its use and then asked to return after 2 months for another important check up.

If the hearing aid isn't proving satisfactory we can then replace it with another one. Replacement of hearing aids for retirees and active duty military men are given for free. It depends on the rank of the sponsoring individual, on how much discounts the dependents will get. Noise probably accounts for more hearing loss than all other factors combined.

Significant sources of noise in the home include vacuum cleaners, air conditioners hair dryers, garbage disposals and blenders. More suspects in hearing deterioration also include snowmobiles, steady roar of traffic and even rock and roll music played too loudly. Prevention is always greater than cure and this also applies in hearing protection like noise control or wearing earmuffs to protect hearing is by far the best medication especially as there is never a reversal to serious injury caused by noise. So many different factors lead to hearing injury.

Diseases of the middle ear, along with drug exposure or viral infections are known to lead to loss of hearing. If a baby, during the time of his birth lacked oxygen, suffered from a birth injury or from certain genetic diseases, prenatal exposure to a viral infection such as rubella, or exposure to a drug that damages hearing, he will most likely be hearing impaired as he grows up as the hearing loss becomes inborn already. There are some types of hearing loss which are duly caused by the worsening of nerves and blood vessels through aging, by viral and bacterial infections, including high doses of aspirin, diuretics used to treat high blood pressure, occasionally by a tumor on the auditory nerve plus certain antibiotics, too.

Infections within the ear especially during its early stage, according to doctors, must be treated so that avoidable hearing loss can be barred. Other suggestions are to avoid flying with a cold, not to use instruments, including cotton swabs to remove ear wax. It is advised that wax that interferes with hearing should be left there until removed by an otologist who is an expert in this. Adjusting a drug dosage or changing it entirely is needed if drugs appear to affect hearing in a patient. It is advised among adults to have a hearing test as part of the regular physical examinations they need to go through.

Such tests are especially important for people who work in noisy environments, are over age 65, or who regularly take drugs that could damage hearing. Specialized audio logic examinations should also be conducted during the first two months of life on newborns who weighed a smaller amount than three and a half pounds at birth, suffered prenatal viral infections, have a family history of childhood hearing impairment, or have birth defects involving the throat, nose or ear.

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