Many people are facing hearing problems. By the time we reach 65, one out of three of us will have a hearing impairment. You must have observed this that some people have to put more volume on TV while others say that the volume is too high or people around them need to speak up. There can be many reasons for hearing loss and to prevent this we need to take care of our ears as we take care of eyes and teeth daily.
Let’s look at the three main types of hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is present when the sound is not reaching the inner ear, the cochlea. This can be due to external ear canal malformation, dysfunction of the eardrum, or malfunction of the bones of the middle ear. The eardrum may show defects from small to total resulting in hearing loss of different degrees.
Dysfunction of the three small bones of the middle ear – malleus, incus, and stapes – may cause conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is one caused by dysfunction of the inner ear, the cochlea, or the nerve that transmits the impulses from the cochlea to the hearing center in the brain. The most common reason for sensorineural hearing loss is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. It could be estimated that more than 50% of the population over the age of 70 has impaired hearing. The main reason for this type of hearing loss is loud noise.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Problems in the inner ear can cause dysfunction in the middle ear also.
There are a number of factors for hearing loss including genetics, aging, exposure to noise, some infections, birth complications, trauma to the ear, and certain medications or toxins. The most common causes are Exposure to noise and genetics and aging.
Age: As you get older, the tiny hair cells in your inner ears slowly break down and can’t pick up sound vibrations as well as they used to.
Loud Noise: Noise exposure is the cause of approximately half of all cases of hearing loss. The new culture of using too much phone, using headphones, more exposure to high-frequency speakers are the source of loud music.
Prevention: there are various factors of hearing loss. We don’t have any control over some of the like aging and genetics. But we can control our exposure to loud noise which is the most common cause of hearing loss. The World Health Organization estimates that half of those between 12 and 35 are at risk of using personal audio devices that are too loud.
Let’s look at how we can control on loud noise and keep our ears safe.
- Use earphones with low volume: Earphones are the most common way of loud noise. A typical person uses earphones or headphones for 3 hours during a day. It can be related to work, during calls or to enjoy good music. By decreasing the volume we can decrease the chances of eardrum damage.
- Use Earplugs: Usually made of foam or rubber, they go in your ear canal and can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels. They’re useful for people who need to make sound quieter but undistorted, such as musicians.
- Use Earmuffs: These fit completely over your ears and reduce sounds by about 15 to 30 decibels. They have to fit tightly over both ears to block sound.
- Use Bonephones: This is the new healthier way of listening to music. In this technology, the sound gets transported through our skull bones, directly into the inner ear. This is a natural process, taking place every time we speak. Bone conduction has a number of benefits compared to our headphones, such as the fact that we don’t need an in-ear or over-ear headphone. This way we can listen to music or other audio without having to miss the ambient sound and damaging our ears. This way we can keep ourselves safe and also enjoy our music. Wehear is an option which makes bone conduction headphones, for healthier and safer music listening.