Hearing is one of our most precious senses and one most people do not protect. Have you ever watch a home improvement show? Some programs reveal the proper use of eye protection when using power tools but they do not protect their ears from the damaging high noise levels.
Noise exposure is one the leading causes of hearing loss. The brain gradually adapts to the slight decline and most people do not suspect damage. Damage occurs in the tiny nerve endings inside the inner ear (or cochlea). Loud noise causes wear and tear on these nerve endings that are responsible to send sound to the brain. Examine the damage in the following pictures:
Other causes of hearing loss include:
- Family history of hearing loss
- Aging (Presbycusis)
- Virus or Disease
- Head trauma
- Autoimmune disorders
- Malformation of the parts of the ear
- Meniere’s disease
- Ear infections
- Poor eustachian tube function
- Eardrum perforation
- Benign tumors
- Ear wax and foreign objects in the ear
- Measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis
- Ototoxic medication
Can Hearing Loss be Corrected?
Certain types of hearing loss can be corrected with medical intervention. Hearing loss in the inner ear, where those tiny nerve endings are located, can not be corrected at this time. Usually the best treatment option is to consult an Audiologist to pursue the purchase of hearing aids or special implants to assist in the amplification of sound to stimulate these damaged nerve endings. Your hearing should be checked annually, as you would for an eye exam. If you notice a decline, the first step is to schedule an appointment with an Audiologist. An Audiologist specializes in the diagnosis of hearing loss and would recommend the best treatment option. Treatment options include referral to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physician if there is a treatable medical option. Most treatment options would be the use of hearing aids to properly rehabilitate the auditory system and allow the brain to hear sound at normal levels again.
At Dr. Mike’s Hearing, an Audiologist will diagnose and recommend the proper treatment. We offer hearing protection, amplified telephones, television headsets, hearing aids, personal sound amplifiers and over the counter hearing aids. All these products are offered locally in our hearing demo center in Branchburg, NJ. Each product could be demonstrated before purchase. We also off a FREE 7- Day Test Drive on all hearing aids. Call for details at 908-722-4022. Free Hearing Tests are also available.