I have my ears tested at the same time as my eye tests. At present my hearing is good, but it hasn’t always been that way. As a small child I had multiple ear nose and throat infections and these caused a lot of problems with my hearing. After a tonsillectomy when I was seven things began to improve.
Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Most people at some point have either a blockage or infection in their ear or ears which can cause hearing loss. I once had a middle ear infection which not only affected my hearing but also my balance. I felt dizzy unless I held my head to one side! Thank fully it was sorted out with a quick visit to my GP.
The most common cause for conductive hearing loss is ear wax which has built up in the ear canal. Ear wax is important for cleaning, guarding against bacteria and lubrication. It can sometimes build up to much though, or be pushed too far back into the ear by cleaning with cotton buds. You can get help from places like the Earwax Removal Clinic in London.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This is loss that can happen by damage to the Cochlea in the ear. Damage can be caused in many ways, for example, loud noises, head trauma, putting objects in the ear, perforated ear drum and infection.
The first course of treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is corticosteroids which can work really well. If they don’t work then a hearing aid might be the answer. It is also possible to have a cochlea implant.
Sensorineural hearing loss is also common in older people and those with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis.
Congenital Hearing Loss
Some babies are born with hearing loss, this can be inherited or down to the baby catching an infection while in the womb. In the UK all newborn babies have hearing tests after birth. Only one of my children, Boo, failed her test. She was what is known as a meconium baby and born in respiratory distress. Thankfully she was treated quickly and everything was fine. It did affect her ears for a while though. We were lucky as it can cause permanent loss.
There are many ways to improve hearing, from aids, professional cleaning, and operations such as cochlea implants, or even an Auditory Brainstem implant.
Deafness in the community
If you are a fan of the soap Eastenders you will see that they have incorporated deafness into their storyline. Which is always a great way of raising awareness.
I have been learning British Sign Language because it’s something I’ve always wanted to know how to do. I don’t know anyone profoundly deaf, but it still feels like a useful thing to learn. I’m always interested in different types of communication.
Deaf people who lip read are having a hard time at the moment because of facemasks. Thankfully there are some available that allow the face to be seen, like this one I found on Etsy.
Some More Advice from the NHS.
The NHS site gives 5 specific points to help protect your ears.
- Avoid Loud Noises
- Take Care When Listening to Music
- Protect Your Ears During Loud Events and Activities
- Take Precautions at Work
- Get Your Hearing Tested.
This is a collaborative Post