Hearing loss is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. Severe hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that is so severe that it prevents a person from hearing or understanding normal conversation. It can significantly impact a person’s ability to communicate, work, and participate in day-to-day activities.
But what causes severe hearing loss, and what symptoms should you watch out for? Read on as our hearing clinic in Langley shares some helpful information on this topic:
Causes & Symptoms of Severe Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions in the United States and around the world, affecting people of all ages. Severe hearing loss occurs when an individual has difficulty understanding and hearing speech, even with the use of a hearing aid. The cause of this type of hearing loss can vary, and it also comes with a set of symptoms that can be used to identify it.
5 Common Causes of Severe Hearing Loss
Age-Related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, which is also known as presbycusis, is most common in those aged 65 and older. This form of hearing loss is caused by the natural aging process and affects both inner and outer hair cells in the ear. It typically involves high-frequency hearing loss and can be managed in some cases with the help of hearing aids.
Otosclerosis is a middle ear condition that causes the stirrup bone to become calcified, making it difficult for sound waves to reach the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is most commonly caused by genetics but can also be brought on by autoimmune conditions. Treatment typically involves surgery to repair the stirrup bone and restore hearing.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise, such as that found in a construction site or a loud concert. This type of hearing loss is preventable, but some people may be more susceptible due to biological factors, such as age and genetics. Hearing protection and protective legislation can help to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause severe hearing loss due to the damage that is inflicted on the brain. This type of hearing loss typically arises after a head trauma or due to a stroke, and it can affect either or both ears. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may involve medications, cochlear implants, or hearing aids.
Medicines and Toxins
In some cases, certain medications or toxins can cause hearing loss, especially if they are taken in large doses over an extended period of time. These medications and toxins can damage the microscopic hairs in the inner ear that are responsible for transmitting sound waves to the brain. This type of hearing loss can usually be reversed by reducing dosages or discontinuing the use of the medication altogether.
Symptoms of Severe Hearing Loss
The most obvious symptom of severe hearing loss is difficulty understanding and hearing speech. People with severe hearing loss may also experience difficulty hearing others talking in crowded places, faint or no sound from one side of their ear, trouble understanding some types of spoken language, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and a feeling of fullness in the ears.
The first step in addressing severe hearing loss is to find out what is causing it. Once the cause is determined, treatment options can be tailored to that cause. There are several treatments, ranging from hearing aids to cochlear implants. Hearing aids amplify sound and are the most common option for people with severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants are typically recommended for people with more severe hearing loss, as they allow the individual to hear more clearly and accurately. Surgery may also be recommended in certain cases.
Hearing loss can be debilitating, and it is important to understand the causes and symptoms of severe hearing loss. The cause should be determined as soon as possible to start the most appropriate treatment. You can get a free hearing test from Fraser Valley Beltone to determine any problem with your hearing. Treatment options include hearing aids and cochlear implants, as well as surgery in certain cases. With the right treatment, people with severe hearing loss can regain some of their hearing, leading to an improved quality of life.
At Fraser Valley Beltone, we prioritize building a relationship with you as a person and learning what matters to you. We strive to understand what you enjoy and what you need in a healthcare partner so that we can provide the best possible hearing care service. Ask us about our free hearing test today!