Hearing is without a doubt an important and essential part of our lives. It allows us to comfortably interact with our loved ones, and appreciate the sounds around us, be it music or the environment. What’s unfortunate is that hearing impairment might suddenly decrease their ability to enjoy and appreciate the sounds around them.
In this blog article, we will attempt to give a wide overview of hearing loss and help you better understand the intricacies of hearing and hearing loss.
There are many types of hearing aids that are suitable for different groups of people. The hearing aid you use may depend on the type and severity of your hearing loss, and your lifestyle. When buying a hearing aid, your audiologist provides some cleaning tools that can help you keep your device in good shape. These tools often include a soft-bristle brush, a wax pick or loop and a dry cloth for wiping. Some audiologists may also provide silica gel to store your aids with to keep them dry.
Sound enters the ear first through the outer ear, then through the ear canal. It then reaches the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum, and gets processed by hair cells in the middle and inner ear through complex functions, and a signal is sent via auditory nerves to the brain to be recognized and we interpret this as hearing sounds.
There are 3 established types of hearing loss – Conductive, Sensorineural and Mixed.
Conductive hearing loss is when sound has difficulty passing through the ear canal or reaching the middle ear. This could be due to something as simple as a buildup of earwax in the ear canal, or something more serious like an ear infection which causes a fluid buildup, blocking out incoming sound waves. This results in an overall lower amount of sound waves being picked up by the ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss is when the auditory nerves inside your ear are damaged, and their ability to transmit sound signals to your brain is hindered. As described in an earlier section, this could be due to deterioration from old age or from certain treatments and drugs.