The causes of a hearing loss can vary enormously. It is not only sometimes dependent on age or state of health, but can also be attributed to hereditary, medication, viral, blood or heart problems, noise induced or in a vast number of cases the aging process or presbyacusis. A sudden hearing loss should be investigated by a doctor to make sure there are no medical complications. A hearing loss result can vary up to 800 times with each individual hearing loss having a different and unique affect. In most cases the clarity of a person’s hearing is affected.
People with a sensory neural loss can sometimes have a normal perception of volume but a poor perception of clarity. For some people this will mean that conversation is quite good in a quiet environment, although things like the television will have to be louder, but put that person into a back ground noise situation, the individual will struggle due to the background noise drowning out the clarity. This is known as “the upward spread of masking”, where it is easier for low tones such as when in a busy restaurant environment to drown out the consonants of speech. A hearing loss can be graded by mild, moderate hearing loss, severe or profound, the latter being the worse.
Other causes of hearing loss can also be attributed to perforation of the ear drum. This can be caused when people use cotton buds or match sticks to clean their ears. Some small perforations can heal naturally, but larger non healing perforations may benefit from tympanoplasty, (an operation to repair the ear drum). They have always said that “the smallest thing you should put in your ear is your elbow”. Excessive wax in the ear can cause a hearing loss and this should be dealt with by a G.P. or nurse to ensure that the wax is removed safely.