What is a hearing loss?
Most often, the sensation of sound is disturbed on one side in a hearing loss. In this case, the inner ear is affected. Every year, thousands of people suffer from such a hearing loss. The severity of the hearing loss varies from person to person. The cause cannot yet be clearly explained and defined by medicine.
A hearing loss can either be very highly pronounced and lead to complete hearing loss or only be mild. Sometimes tinnitus also occurs at the same time. If you suspect a hearing loss, you should act immediately and consult an ENT specialist. Clarify the symptoms immediately. If the hearing loss lasts too long, your hearing may deteriorate severely. In the case of persistent hearing loss, Modern Hearing Aids can support you well.
Hearing loss symptoms
Your symptoms may vary in severity if you experience a hearing loss. As a result, you may actually experience complete hearing loss. Typically, such a hearing loss occurs in one ear without having to have a specific trigger. Tinnitus or pressure in the ear can herald a hearing loss, or occur simultaneously with it.
According to experts, it is nowadays assumed that the auditory cells in the cochlea of the inner ear are not supplied with blood properly, so that a hearing loss occurs. Normally, these cells in the ear convert the sound that is picked up by the ear. As a result, the sound is transmitted to the auditory nerve and then to the brain.
If you have ear pain, it is not a typical symptom of hearing loss. If you have pain in one ear or both, there is a reason. There may also be a different clinical picture, such as inflammation. If you have attacks of dizziness or hear a cotton-wool-like sound in your ear, this may be an indication of a hearing loss. In about 25% of all cases, cardiovascular complaints occur at the same time. Hormonal disorders also often accompany hearing loss.
Typical symptoms of hearing loss:
- Ear pressure
- Funny feeling in the outer tube
- feeling dizzy
Typical accompanying symptoms of a hearing loss:
- occurs in only one ear
- Effects like a seizure
- No pain in the ear
- occurs without any apparent cause
Other signs may occur, such as familiar voices that sound strange. The same is true for music that suddenly sounds foreign.
Are tinnitus and hearing loss the same thing?
A tinnitus is not the same as a hearing loss. A hearing loss is actually a medical condition. A tinnitus, on the other hand, is more of a symptom. Most often, tinnitus is heard at the same time as a hearing loss. In some cases, the tinnitus persists after the hearing loss has been corrected. Then we talk about a chronic tinnitus. Tinnitus does not always necessarily have to be related to a hearing loss.
How do I recognize a hearing loss?
According to the current standards of medicine, a hearing loss is determined with a process of exclusion. With a hearing test and an ear microscopy, the ear, nose and throat doctor narrows down whether you actually have a hearing loss or whether another disease is present.
Different examination procedures may be used:
- Nuclear spin examination
- Ultrasound examination
- Ear microscopy
- Blood test
- Blood pressure measurement
This is how your ear, nose and throat doctor can clarify everything. An otoscopy can also be helpful. There may also be external features, such as an injured ear canal or a blocked ear canal.
Hearing testing works with either speech audiometry or sound audiometry, or tuning fork testing. With these tests, your doctor can determine the degree of hearing loss and its location.
Classification of a hearing loss:
- Tweeter hearing loss
- Mid-tone hearing loss
- Low frequency hearing loss
- Pancochlear hearing loss
For the determination, a tone threshold audiogram will help.
What does pancochlear hearing loss mean?
It is a hearing loss that affects the entire cochlea. The cochlea is a very important part of your inner ear.
Your medical history
Your medical history, or history, is a very important component of the overall diagnosis of a hearing loss. With your medical history, your ear, nose and throat doctor will learn the important clues as to what could be the reason for the hearing loss and whether it is actually a hearing loss. In this way, the causes can be better narrowed down. On the other hand, if there are no specific clues for the hearing loss, other methods can be used for a specific diagnosis. These include:
- Tonaudiometry according to Fowler
- Brainstem Audiometry (ABR)
- Otoacoustic emissions are measured
Using these tests, the doctor determines the condition of the auditory nerve. He can then rule out or not rule out the disease of the auditory nerve as the reason for hearing loss.
What is the Fowler test?
In this test, you listen to sounds in both ears alternately. The volume varies and is adjusted with your help until you can hear equally well in both ears. It is effectively a subjective hearing test. By comparing it to your healthy ear, the degree of hearing loss and the hearing threshold can be determined.
What does ABR mean?
It measures the vibration of sound that travels from the brainstem to the cortex. If the vibrations can be measured in the cortex, your doctor will assume that your cochlea is fine.
What are otoacoustic emissions?
In this measurement, a probe is inserted into your ear canal. This probe has a microphone and a speaker. When the sound waves enter the healthy inner ear, a response can be measured. This procedure is also practiced on infants.
Hearing loss what to do?
The most important thing to do when you have a hearing loss is not to waste time. The sooner therapy begins, the better. It is best to detect and treat a hearing loss within 24 hours. Therefore, you should go to the ear, nose and throat doctor immediately. Blood flow to the inner ear is immediately promoted, and possible triggers are also immediately eliminated. One of the most common forms of therapy for a hearing loss is the administration of blood flow-promoting medications.
When there is insufficient blood flow to the inner ear, or when that blood flow should be disrupted, a hearing loss occurs. The necessary nutrients come with the blood into the inner ear. The blood is also important for the removal of the nutrients. If blood flow is persistently inhibited, the hair cells of the cochlea will be permanently damaged. Therefore, medications are administered that promote blood flow. In addition, cortisone is usually used. This inhibits swelling.
Blocked nerves and local anesthesia
Lidocaine or procaine are often used locally for a hearing loss. This blocks the nerves that normally constrict the vessels. The drug must be given under clinical observation and by a physician.
A hearing aid for persistent hearing loss
If the hearing loss is persistent, your hair cells and sensory cells will be damaged. As a result, you will suffer from permanent hearing loss. However, you can compensate for this hearing loss by using a hearing aid. If the hearing loss has been present for a long time or occurs in conjunction with tinnitus, you should definitely use a hearing aid. This is then equipped with a so-called Noiser.
Oxygen pressure chamber as a treatment method
Another treatment option for a hearing loss is treatment in an oxygen hyperbaric chamber. This method is extremely effective. However, in medical terms, it is not a clearly effective treatment method.
In a very severe case of hearing loss
If it is a very severe case of hearing loss, blood washing is used. Purification of the blood occurs. The goal is to stop one's blood from clotting as quickly. The flow properties of the blood are changed and improved. In the worst case, inpatient therapy must be initiated.
Typical risk factors are:
- High cholesterol
Sports and a low-fat healthy diet have a very positive effect. In addition, blood sugar should be well adjusted in a diabetic. Alcohol, coffee and nicotine must be avoided.
The course of a hearing loss
Time is a major important factor when it comes to therapy for a hearing loss. The time interval between the onset of symptoms and treatment are crucial for a good prognosis. In the best case, appropriate therapy is given within the first hour. This will allow your hearing to be restored for the most part. However, if your hearing continues to deteriorate or you also experience balance problems, the prognosis is also much worse. Half of people who suffer a hearing loss recover completely. The others may be left with a ringing in the ears or hearing loss. The severity varies.
Hearing loss treatment
Directly after hearing loss, it is important to reduce risk factors. These include, for example: diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity.
It is recommended to make the whole lifestyle without stress. It is essential to avoid situations in which you are overwhelmed. If the hearing loss occurred some time ago - for example, more than a year - you can only compensate with a hearing aid. You are welcome to contact our team of experts for a hearing aid.
What complications can occur with a hearing loss?
Various complications related to hearing performance can occur when a hearing loss occurs. The greatest risk is hearing loss, or even deafness, as a result of the hearing loss. This deafness can be short-term or permanent. Late effects are, for example, the typical tinnitus after a hearing loss. Tinnitus can manifest itself in alternating sounds. It is often accompanied by a persistent pressure. Sometimes heart palpitations and a strong inner restlessness accompany a hearing loss.
Hearing loss causes
It is not known what exactly causes hearing loss. However, there are theories about this in medical science. The blood flow to the inner ear is significantly reduced by a hearing loss. Stress can be a typical trigger for this. High time pressure at work or a hectic environment can lead to such problems of blood flow in the ear and promote a hearing loss.
Why does a hearing loss occur?
If the small vessels in the ear have impaired blood flow, this is a typical cause of a hearing loss. No one can say exactly why a hearing loss occurs. Typical factors for a hearing loss include:
- Previous acute middle ear infection
- Autoimmune disease
- Closure of the inner ear and its vessels
- clotted blood
- cervical spine disease
- Metabolic disease, such as high cholesterol or diabetes
- Atherosclerosis and subsequent circulatory problems
- Viral infection, such as chickenpox or herpes
There may be many more reasons and causes for hearing loss. Specialists are still debating the respective theories.
What is idiopathic hearing loss?
The technical term means nothing more than having no apparent cause. This situation occurs most frequently. The reason cannot be found even after a specific examination.
Hearing loss caused by stress
The most common trigger for a hearing loss is stress. The stress hormone called adrenaline is thought to be responsible. This causes the small blood vessels in the to spasm. The cause of the hearing loss itself is not yet known. If you suffer a hearing loss, you should definitely change your lifestyle habits and overexert yourself less.
We can help!
We will provide you with a free consultation if you have suffered a hearing loss. You may have experienced permanent hearing loss. We are happy to assist you with our customer service and offer you a free consultation without obligation. This way you can choose your suitable hearing aid in peace. Our experts and hearing aid acousticians are happy to assist you.