Oftentimes, it can be difficult to realise the onset of hearing loss. But once you’ve started to experience the symptoms, can you improve your hearing loss naturally, or is it impossible? It can be frustrating to live with a hearing problem, especially when everyday activities like making phone calls, listening to music, or even conversing with loved ones becomes difficult to navigate. If you’re finding it hard to understand what people are saying around you, you’re not alone: it’s important to remember that many people tend to lose their hearing over time. This can be due to factors such as ageing and noise exposure, but can also occur if there are blockages in the ear canal.
Seeing a licensed audiologist can help shed light on what type of hearing impairment you have. While it’s important to remember that a full fix to hearing loss is only possible in some cases, getting your hearing checked with hearing tests Perth is the first step towards alleviating your symptoms.
The Different Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Usually, conductive hearing loss occurs when there are obstructions in the outer or middle ear. When sound is obstructed from getting to the inner ear, hearing loss occurs. This can happen when there are issues with ear formation or ear infections, or due to things such as fluid, tumours, and ear wax, which can cause sudden hearing loss. Depending on the severity, this type of hearing loss can be treated with medicine or surgery, depending on what you’re dealing with.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
When the nerves of the inner ear or the hair cells in the ear are damaged, sensorineural hearing loss occurs. The most common type of hearing loss, this damage can be caused by a myriad of factors, such as age (age related hearing loss) or constant exposure to loud noise (noise induced hearing loss). Because the hearing nerves or cells are damaged, the inner ear cannot send the right signals to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is treated using hearing aids as, oftentimes, medicine and surgery cannot address the underlying issues of this type of severe hearing loss.
Ways to Alleviate Hearing Loss Symptoms
Unfortunately, once hearing loss occurs, especially if it’s sensorineural, there is often no way to reverse the damage. But there are some ways in which you can preserve your hearing, or alleviate the symptoms that you are experiencing.
The best hearing aids are small, discreet, and worn in the ear. These battery-powered devices are made for individuals with hearing loss to wear for long periods of time, protecting your ears from sudden loud noises and improving your hearing. There are a wide range of hearing aids in Perth available, which can be programmed to fit unique hearing requirements, depending on the severity of hearing loss.
When the cochlea is extremely damaged in the inner ear, a cochlear implant works to send electrical impulses to the auditory nerve, helping the brain to translate meaningful sound. However, cochlear implants are surgically installed, and so are an option only for adults and children who have very limited residual hearing. Because of this, for adult individuals who still have some hearing, audiologists may recommend the use of hearing aids first, as surgery can be an invasive procedure. For more information, check out our blog on Cochlear Implants: Benefits and Limitations!
Bone-Anchored Hearing System
Much like the cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing systems require surgery for implantation in the mastoid bone behind the ear. These devices use the tiny bones in the ear to convert sounds to vibrations, stimulating sound waves for the inner ear to process. However, these are only typically used for those who have outer ear or ear canal malformations or obstructions, or individuals with hearing loss in only one ear.
Middle Ear Tubes
It’s important to note that middle ear/pressure equalisation tubes are mostly used to alleviate and improve temporary hearing loss when there is fluid buildup behind the eardrum, as caused by a middle ear infection or Eustachian tube blockages. These tubes are installed during an outpatient procedure, and are usually done with children, as they are more susceptible to middle ear infections.
Natural and homeopathic “solutions” are unfortunately usually not supported by research, as these methods often show little effectiveness. The best way to alleviate hearing loss symptoms is to catch it early by booking a hearing test. However, if you’re wanting to know how to take care of your ears and limit further hearing loss, you can look at incorporating these natural solutions into your everyday life.
Skip the Q-Tips
It can be tempting to dig out ear wax, but it’s actually the ear’s natural defense mechanism! Ear wax is the ear’s way to prevent foreign particles, bacteria, and infection from compromising the ear’s function, and it naturally drains out as you talk, eat, and move your jaw. However, if you’re finding that you have a build-up of earwax, see a doctor to help remove your earwax the right way. Doing it yourself can push the earwax into your ear and damage your ear canal or your ear drum.
Stay Away from Noisy Environments
Constant exposure to loud music or loud background noise is actually a common cause of hearing impairment, as it can damage your inner ear nerves or hair cells. Try to be mindful of your environment, as well as the volume of your speakers, television, or radio!
Try Not To Smoke
The nicotine in cigarettes, as well as the carbon monoxide that comes from smoking, are known to hinder blood flow and oxygen, and it can actually affect the health of the cells in your inner ear. Not only that, but nicotine has been linked to tinnitus, and some research has found that it hinders the auditory nerve and the Eustachian tube’s functionality.
Seek a Professional Opinion
The best course of action to prevent further hearing loss is to get tested by a licensed audiologist. At Art of Hearing, we offer a comprehensive hearing test in order to pinpoint the different causes of your hearing loss. We also provide personalised advice to help you alleviate the symptoms of your hearing loss according to your requirements, so you can live life to the fullest.
Call us or book an appointment online today to get started.