Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. Hearing is a complex sense involving both the ear\\\'s ability to detect sounds and the brain\\\'s ability to interpret those sounds, including the sounds of speech.
At the early stage of hearing loss, high-pitched sounds, such as children's and female voices, and the sounds "S" and "F" become harder to decipher.
Other symptoms of hearing loss include:
• Trouble understanding phone conversations
• Trouble hearing above background noise
• Trouble following a conversation when more than one person speaks at once
• Perception that people are not speaking clearly or mumbling
• Often misunderstanding what people say and responding inappropriately
• Often having to ask people to repeat themselves
• Frequent complaints by others that the TV is too loud
• Ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds in the ears, known as tinnitus
Certain conditions, including age, illness, and genetics, may contribute to hearing loss. Over several generations, modern life has added a host of ear-damaging elements to the list, including some medications and plenty of sources of loud, continuous noise.
Tests to diagnose hearing loss may include:
• Physical exam. Your doctor will look in your ear for possible causes of your hearing loss, such as earwax or inflammation from an infection. Your doctor will also look for any structural causes of your hearing problems.
• General screening tests. Your doctor may ask you to cover one ear at a time to see how well you hear words spoken at various volumes and how you respond to other sounds.
• Pure Tone Audiogram (PTA) is a hearing test used to determine the presence or absence of hearing loss. If hearing loss is present, the audiologist will be able to determine both type and degree of hearing loss.
• Tuning fork tests. Tuning forks are two-pronged, metal instruments that produce sounds when struck. Simple tests with tuning forks can help your doctor detect hearing loss. A tuning fork evaluation may also reveal whether hearing loss is caused by damage to the vibrating parts of your middle ear (including your eardrum), damage to sensors or nerves of your inner ear, or damage to both.
• Audiometer tests. During these more-thorough tests conducted by an audiologist, you wear earphones and hear sounds directed to one ear at a time. The audiologist presents a range of sounds of various tones and asks you to indicate each time you hear the sound.
Each tone is repeated at faint levels to find out when you can barely hear. The audiologist will also present various words to determine your hearing ability.
Treatment depends on the type and source of hearing loss. Hearing loss caused by infection can often be treated with antibiotics.
Surgery may reverse hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, scar tissue, or infection while Ménière's disease is sometimes treatable with medication and diet modification.
Consult audiology centre and ENT department at Aadil Hospital for treatment.