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Hearing Loss – Causes & Treatments by Specialists in SG

Hearing loss is a prevalent condition affecting countless individuals across the globe, including in the bustling city-state of Singapore. It is a personal health concern that can have significant implications for one’s quality of life, making understanding its nuances critically important.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss occurs when there’s a decrease in the ability to perceive sounds. It can range from mild difficulties in hearing to complete deafness. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three primary types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of the two.

Conductive Hearing Loss

This type involves the outer or middle ear where sound waves cannot be efficiently conducted through the ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones of the middle ear. Common causes include ear infections, fluid in the ear, earwax build-up, or damage to the eardrum.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Often related to damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve, sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type. Factors leading to this form of hearing loss include aging, exposure to excessive noise, certain medications, and various medical conditions.

Mixed Hearing Loss

As the term denotes, mixed hearing loss is a dual condition impacting both the conductive and sensorineural pathways, affecting not just the outer and middle ear but also the inner ear or auditory nerve.

The World Health Organization defines disabling hearing loss as hearing loss greater than 35 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear, with nearly 80% of people with such a condition living in low- and middle-income countries.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be caused by a myriad of factors:

Aging (Presbycusis): A natural decline in hearing ability due to age-related changes within the ear.

Noise Exposure: Long-term exposure to loud noises or a single acoustic event can damage the delicate structures within the ear.

Infections: Chronic ear infections can lead to permanent hearing damage if left untreated.

Medications: Ototoxic drugs can affect hearing acuity.

Genetics: Inherited traits can make individuals more susceptible to hearing problems.

Diseases: Health conditions such as otosclerosis or Meniere’s disease impact hearing.

Trauma: Physical damage to the ear or head injuries may result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Treating Hearing Loss

While some cases of hearing loss are irreversible, many can be treated or managed effectively:

Medication: For infections or diseases causing hearing loss.

Surgery: To correct certain conditions or injuries that may cause hearing impairment.

Hearing Aids: Devices that amplify sound to assist in better hearing.

Cochlear Implants: For profound hearing loss, bypassing damaged portions of the ear to directly stimulate the auditory nerve.

Assistive Listening Devices: Including amplified phones and personal FM systems.

Benefits of Seeking Professional Help from a Hearing Loss Specialist

In Singapore, as in any advanced urban setting, recognizing and addressing hearing loss with the guidance of health care professionals is vital:

Accurate Diagnosis: Medical professionals can determine the type and severity of hearing loss, leading to an effective treatment plan.

Tailored Solutions: Depending on the diagnosis, experts can recommend specific hearing aids or devices catered to the individual’s needs.

Prevent Further Damage: Early intervention can stop the progression of hearing loss.

Rehabilitation: Specialists may provide auditory training and support to maximize the use of residual hearing.

Quality of Life: With professional help, individuals with hearing loss can experience improved communication, reduced mental fatigue, and better social interactions.

Living with hearing loss in a fast-paced society like Singapore shouldn’t mean missing out on the sounds of life. The city’s sophisticated healthcare system offers numerous resources and facilities specializing in audiology and hearing disorders. Reaching out for professional assistance not only alleviates the symptoms of hearing loss but also equips individuals with the necessary tools to remain connected and vibrant within their communities.

In conclusion, hearing loss, while challenging, can be addressed through proper diagnosis and treatment. In Singapore’s context, where embracing technological advancements and medical expertise is the norm, seeking professional hearing loss specialisthelp for hearing loss is a beneficial step towards maintaining a high-quality standard of living.

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