Audiology Hearing Clinic of Mequon

(262) 241-3144
11649 N. Port Washington Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092
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A Guide to Gradual Hearing Loss

a man holding his hand to his ear

Do you know what gradual hearing loss is? If not, then read on. Gradual hearing loss can happen when someone has constant exposure to loud noises over some time. Therefore, you must take the necessary precautions so that your ears don't suffer from this affliction in the future.

If you notice these symptoms:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble understanding people in crowded places
  • Trouble hearing the TV or radio

You should seek help from an audiologist as soon as possible.

What Is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is when people have to turn up the volume on their TVs or can't hear what someone's saying in a crowded place. It happens gradually over time, and if left untreated, it can lead to permanent hearing damage.

What Are Some Common Causes of Gradual Hearing Loss?

If you spend too much time around loud machinery like lawnmowers, snowblowers, and leaf blowers, you'll likely develop gradual hearing loss. If your job requires you to be around any kind of machinery that operates at high volumes for a long time, then the chances are that you'll have some degree of gradual hearing loss after a while too.

Types of hearing loss

There are two main types of hearing loss:

The first type is called conductive (because the sound can't get through). Conductive hearing loss happens when there's a problem with the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear. This kind of damage usually needs surgery and often an operation on the jaw bone.

The second type is called sensorineural (because the hearing nerve can't receive sound vibrations). Sensorineural hearing loss happens when there's a problem with the inner ear, which has to do with how it processes sounds. This kind of loss usually needs specialized medication and may also require surgery or other operations.

Ways to prevent gradual hearing loss

You can help to keep your ears healthy by taking the following steps:

  • Wearing earplugs when you're around loud machinery for a long time - You could also try using foam earplugs or waxed cotton balls in each of your ears, which will reduce how much noise gets through and protect against damage.
  • Gradually turn down the volume on your TV or stereo until it's at a comfortable level - When you're listening to music, turn off the bass and try not to listen for long periods. It might be worth investing in high-quality headphones that will provide greater protection from loud sounds.
  • Wearing earmuffs when you're out in the cold - This will help to protect your ears from the freezing temperatures.
  • Get a hearing test from an audiologist every year or two to make sure that there's no gradual hearing loss happening.
  • It's also worth wearing earplugs when in a shooting practice because of the loud sounds and the risks involved.

The earlier the detection of your hearing loss, the more likely you’ll receive treatment early with a good chance of success. You might also want to consider preventative measures like wearing earplugs as this will reduce the chances of developing gradual hearing loss in the future.