Hearing problems are very common among Americans. What could be the reason? Should you seek help if symptoms occur?
Our practice shows that it is impossible to ignore this problem, as many people do. Hearing loss leads to social isolation and other adverse consequences. Unfortunately, many people are in no hurry to visit doctors, especially if there are problems with only one ear. Today we will take a closer look at the most common hearing problems that cannot be ignored.
A loss of hearing in one ear
Time is an important factor in the treatment of hearing loss. Unfortunately, many people delay a visit to the doctor when only one ear appears to bother them. Many think that the problem will go away by itself and are wasting precious days and hours. If you notice that you cannot hear out of one of your ears, seek medical help immediately. Let’s take a closer look at things that can cause hearing loss in one ear.
Ear canal blockage
At the level of the middle or outer ear, an obstruction occurs due to which the sound signal does not reach the auditory nerves. This one-sided hearing loss may be a conductive hearing loss. It’s accompanied by stuffiness in the ears, sometimes, when chewing, pain may appear. The blockage may be in the outer ear canal, such as wax or in the middle ear due to fluid or ear infections. To get rid of the problem, you need to visit a hearing care professional.
Pressure in the ears
Some people may feel pain in their ears when traveling by plane. Especially as the plane gains altitude, or when landing. Doctors often call this “Airplane ear”. It’s caused by the difference between middle ear pressure and atmospheric pressure. Therefore, people who suffer from ear infections may be ous diseases are not recommended to take a decongestant when needing to fly. The pressure in the ears also changes during scuba diving, as well as for certain types of allergies and respiratory diseases.
Perforation of the eardrum is a rupture in the eardrum that occurs if it is damaged. The patient’s perception of sounds changes dramatically, bloody discharge, or pus, may appear in the ears. Through this gap, an infection can easily get into the middle ear. Therefore, at the first signs, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Permanent hearing loss
The disorder occurs in case of damage to the structure of the inner ear and its hair cells. This is a sensorineural hearing loss, which can be partial or complete depending on its cause. Moreover, the degree of disorder may vary in each ear.
Do you hear only high or low sounds?
Hearing loss can be any configuration. There are some people that will hear low pitch sounds better than high pitch and vice versa. Each configuration can represent a different type of etiology. For example, a cookie-bite loss is one where a person hears the middle sounds worse than the low or high. Typically, these losses are associated with congenital hearing loss and are present since childhood. A hearing loss with a high-frequency deficit is likely to be more gradual in nature and tends to happen as we age. The main takeaway for this is that your particular hearing difficulty will depend on the configuration of your loss and seeking hearing care professional for evaluation will help in explaining your difficulties as well as the needed intervention.
Do you constantly feel pressure in your ears?
Meniere’s disease is an ailment in which the volume of the labyrinth fluid is increased in the inner ear. Because of this, ear pressure rises. A person develops tinnitus, dizziness, impaired coordination. In most cases, one ear suffers from Meniere’s disease. This disorder is generally diagnosed by looking at the symptoms and specific results to various audiological tests. There are various ways to manage this condition and seeking professional help is strongly suggested.
Do you hear the surroundings too loudly?
Hyperacusis is the perception of sounds being too loud. There are times when people experience this with normal hearing and it is often accompanied by tinnitus or ringing in the ears. It is important to have your hearing evaluated to rule out anything medical going on. Another reason a person may experience an abnormal perception of volume is because of something known as recruitment. This mostly occurs with hearing loss. The hair cells in our cochlea are no longer serving as a “cushion” for sounds and will make the perception of sound volume abnormal. Once again, checking your hearing is important to get to the root of the issue.
Do you constantly hear tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one ear, both ears and/or in the head. It can come on out of nowhere or follow some sort of ear trauma (such as noise exposure or head trauma). It can is important to diagnose the cause so that proper treatment techniques can be utilized. We examined this disorder in more detail here: https://audiologyisland.com/services/tinnitus-evaluations-and-treatment
Do you have a harder time with women’s and kid’s voices?
As already mentioned about sensorineural hearing losses, they may be of different configurations. For those individuals with high-frequency hearing loss, it will be more difficult to understand women’s and kid’s voices as they tend to be higher pitched in nature. More often than not, this type of loss occurs as we get older and can be called age-related hearing loss, simply due to the various environmental and genetic factors that occur throughout the years. People with this type of loss will experience more difficulty in clarity and understanding of words, particularly in crowds or noisy environments. Having your hearing evaluated to get a baseline is always a good idea. Often it does not need to start in an office setting. There are now many free ways to screen your hearing prior to having a full audiological evaluation. Log onto our link for this screening: https://audiologyisland.com/online-hearing-test/
All of the above cases can be treated without problems. If you find symptoms of hearing loss, you should contact our clinic for help. Our experts will conduct a series of examinations to diagnose the type and degree of hearing loss. After all the tests and diagnosis, the doctor will tell you about the possible treatment options. If hearing aids are required, you can purchase affordable hearing aids for your needs. The audiologist will give you detailed recommendations for use and will configure the device according to your prescription and lifestyle needs.
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]