Hearing loss

What therapies and symptoms apply to hearing loss?

You can see your hearing as the key to your social life. With your ears you can create a connection between yourself and your environment. You communicate with colleagues, friends and family through your hearing. With your ears you can hear the rustling of the leaves and the sea, as well as the singing of the birds. Are you aware of the complex role your ears play as an important organ for you in everyday life?

Very often one only becomes aware of the performance of the ears when the hearing performance declines. Hearing itself affects many different facets in your life. With your ears you develop and understand the language. So you can enjoy the music or interesting conversations. Without your hearing, you wouldn't go to an opera or go to and enjoy films and concerts. Your ears and hearing can warn you of danger. Hence, your ears are always active.

But if you find that your hearing is impaired, this situation is very bad for you. Initially, you may not be aware that you have hearing loss at all. The first reactions from your family and friends make you aware of this problem. For you, however, that does not mean withdrawing and isolating yourself socially - on the contrary! As soon as you notice that your hearing is declining, you should take action and see a professional. On average, patients only go to the ear, nose and throat doctor for an examination and become active seven years after the first hearing problems. But do you realize how far your quality of life drops if you do nothing? Do you know how modern hearing systems and devices are today? These support you effectively and improve your hearing in the long term.

Symptoms and signs of your hearing loss

  • Conversations in the group are exhausting for you
  • you hear noises in your ears
  • the hearing loss already occurs in your family
  • You can only watch TV at a very high volume
  • In noisy surroundings, such as in a shopping center, at a conference or in a restaurant, communication problems arise
  • it is difficult for you to understand children and women
  • other people's voices seem relatively muffled
  • you have trouble having a conversation with more than two people

Can i inherit hearing loss?

The disposition or the cause of a hearing loss can be hereditary. Every child always inherits half of the genes from their father and mother. If the genes are defective, deafness or hearing impairment can be inherited as these are passed on directly to the offspring. 

What is my diagnosis?

The first step is a diagnosis from your ear, nose and throat doctor. Your doctor can use your symptoms and illnesses to pinpoint your hearing loss. Particularly important clues are both the situation and the time at which your hearing loss first occurred. This information will help your doctor make a diagnosis. 

A physical examination is carried out with a tuning fork test. This will tell your doctor what type of hearing loss you have or whether it is one 

  • Perceptual hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Conductive hearing loss 


A simple and very quick test is the tuning fork test. This will help determine which part of your ear is affected by the disorder. There are three variants:


  1. a) the Weber attempt

In this attempt the tuning fork is made to vibrate. It is placed on the top of your head. If you have good hearing, you can hear the sound of the tuning fork in the center of your head. If, on the other hand, you only take the tone on one side, you have a diminution. If your sensorineural hearing disorder is one-sided, you can only hear the sound louder from the better-hearing inner ear. In the case of a one-sided sound conduction disorder, the situation is reversed. In that case, you will hear the sound from the hearing loss ear louder.


  1. b) the gutter attempt

The Rinne experiment is used to differentiate between conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. In this case, the tuning fork is placed on the bone behind your ear.

The aim is to differentiate between conductive hearing loss and sensorineural sensation disorder through the Rinne experiment. Once the tuning fork is placed behind the bone of your ear, the attempt will be positive if the sound can only be heard through the bare ear. Then your ears are healthy. If you cannot hear the vibrating tone of the tuning fork at all while trying, the attempt is negative.


  1. c) Gellé experiment 

If your doctor suspects otosclerosis, this attempt is made. Otosclerosis is a bone disease directly in the middle ear. In this case conductive hearing loss occurs. In this attempt, too, the tuning fork is placed directly on the bone behind your ear. At the same time, a balloon pump is used to increase the pressure on your eardrum and on your ear canal. Everything is fine if the sound of the tuning fork becomes quieter. On the other hand, if the tone of the tuning fork stays the same, it is likely that you have otosclerosis.

An otoscopy or an ear mirror is necessary to determine the extent to which there are physical changes or diseases. A typical example is the perforation of your eardrum. It is very rare for the eardrum to have a hole in it.


Your doctor can then use a hearing test to determine how well you can hear individual pitches. These values ​​are determined in an audiogram using a hearing curve. With the help of this data, your doctor can decide on the further course and treatment.

How does an ear mirror work?

An ear mirror or otoscopy is a purely optical examination of your ear canal and your eardrum. An instrument called an otoscope is used for this. It's like a funnel made of metal or plastic. Usually this funnel also has a lamp and a magnifying glass. If injuries or redness are detected in the external ear canal, an ear, nose and throat doctor should be consulted.


Definition of audiogram

A tone audiogram is an auditory curve. This curve shows your hearing ability graphically. Different frequencies and the hearing thresholds are recorded. The outermost range at which the human ear can still perceive a sound is the hearing threshold. 

How can hearing loss be treated and treated?


The most common form of hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss. This hearing loss can be either permanent or temporary.

In any case, you should see your ear, nose and throat doctor in good time. So your hearing loss can be treated promptly. Short-term noise affects your hearing, which means that hearing is impaired. Appropriate therapy and some rest as well as helpful medication are then used. This combination is usually enough so that you can hear well again afterwards. 

However, if the exposure to noise is prolonged, permanent hearing loss can result. Then you may suffer from chronic noise-related hearing loss. The symptoms are then permanent. Then modern hearing systems and control devices can help you to perceive and hear the lost tones again. With a modern hearing aid, you can easily follow conversations again.

Boundaries between temporary and permanent? 

From when a hearing loss becomes chronic or not cannot be precisely determined. Hearing should normally recover and regenerate after brief exposure to noise. A typical and very common cause of permanent hearing loss is when the exposure to the noise has lasted too long for the hearing. If the ears cannot recover sufficiently afterwards, permanent damage will result. The stress level and diet also play a role as additional factors and have an individual influence on the susceptibility of hearing. 

Why is a hearing aid important? 

For you, your hearing is a very important human sense for your perception. Therefore, you should not listen to the music loudly, otherwise you have to reckon with an early impaired hearing performance. 

A hearing aid is a very effective tool for you to be able to hear more of your surroundings again. The hearing aid not only improves the sound perception itself, but also reproduces the spatial orientation. You can even listen to music with a modern hearing aid. Modern hearing aids and systems are professionally adjusted by an acoustician. So you know that you are not hearing the sounds too loud and your hearing remains undamaged.

What are the consequences of hearing loss? 

The consequences of hearing loss can be relatively extensive and varied. They can complicate a wide variety of areas in your life.

 These include, for example:

  • watch TV
  • Phone calls
  • professional meeting
  • Conversations with family
  • Conversations with friends

These and other situations pose a challenge for you in everyday life. In the worst case, it comes to social isolation. Your quality of life is then lost. You can't see the hearing loss directly. That is why there is often a lack of understanding or misunderstanding on the part of friends and family. In addition, hearing loss can mean that various situations are presented relatively poorly. People close to you often react confused. It is therefore important that you address the topic of hearing loss publicly and inform everyone around you.


What are the consequences of hearing loss?


Physical consequences


If you ignore your hearing loss and do not treat it, physical problems will arise, including:


  • stress
  • Dizziness
  • a headache
  • exhaustion
  • fatigue


Therefore, if you suspect you should visit a hearing care professional immediately and have your hearing tested and checked.


Social consequences


Numerous studies have now proven and shown that if you suffer from hearing loss, there are also social consequences. You are worried, fearful, and unhappy with your situation. You can concentrate harder and reduce your social activities. As a result, your self-esteem drops and you forget the contact with your friends and with people.


Hearing loss is a popular phenomenon


Did you know that almost one in six people has hearing loss? Unfortunately, it is actually a downright popular phenomenon when it comes to hearing problems. This considerably reduces the well-being of the person concerned.


Hearing problems are not unique to the elderly. They are represented in all age groups. In Germany, one in six people already has hearing loss. Mostly it is a matter of impaired hearing. Often this is a very gradual process. Initially only the high frequencies are lost. The audible spectrum is getting smaller and smaller. As a result, the brain is also less stressed and you lose the ability to differentiate. Even small hearing impairments should be recognized and treated in good time. This is how you can counteract your hearing loss.


How does hearing loss develop?


There are three different types of hearing loss:


  • Sensorineural and inner ear hearing loss
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Perceptual hearing loss


The sound waves come with conductive hearing loss

almost not at all or only in a weakened form in your inner ear. The following causes, diseases and reasons can exist and are among the triggers:


  • The ear canal is blocked
  • Otitis media
  • Ejaculation in the middle ear
  • Middle ear is chronically purulent
  • The auditory bones are fused


Your inner ear or your auditory nerves are abnormally changed if you have sensorineural hearing loss. Sometimes the signals from the auditory nerve are not properly relayed to the brain. The typical causes for this are:


  • Skull injury
  • Meniere's disease
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • daily noise exposure of over 85 dB
  • Age-related hearing loss


Your brain cannot process the incoming signals properly if you have a hearing loss. The most common causes are:


  • traumatic brain injury
  • Malformations or birth defects
  • stroke
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Encephalitis


Medicines can also be a cause of hearing loss. It is not the preparation itself that decides, but rather the amount of the drug. In the event of an overdose, painkillers can also have a harmful effect and negatively affect hearing.


How can I minimize the causes of my hearing loss?


Research into hearing disorders is far from over. In everyday life, hearing disorders can be avoided with the following tips:


  • Rinsing from the ear, nose and throat doctor
  • Do not remove ear wax with chopsticks
  • good hearing protection for competitive swimmers


Basically, it is advisable to visit the doctor regularly for the examination. If hearing performance deteriorates, it will be noticed immediately.


Children and newborns with hearing loss


A special situation exists when babies or children suffer from hearing disorders. Then the development is also inhibited. Sound stimuli are particularly important at a young age so that acoustic sensitivity can be developed. The child's social behavior is also negatively influenced by a hearing loss. The child cannot really acquire the ability to learn to speak.


The child's learning skills for future hearing are developed in the first two years. If the ears do not receive any stimuli, this particularly important learning process does not occur at all in the child. A child with a hearing loss should receive medical attention as early as possible. Early development is encouraged both socially and mentally in speech therapy or speech training. This minimizes the risk of hearing loss later on.

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