Treatments and Sources of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The countless miniature nerve endings in your inner ear are central to your hearing. If these nerve endings are destroyed, or if damage occurs in other regions of the inner ear, sensorineural hearing loss can result.

Sensorineural hearing loss typically does not lead to total deafness. Instead, it reduces the individual’s ability to hear particular sounds. Some sounds may seem too loud, while others can seem much less distinct. Discerning speech patterns becomes especially difficult, especially when listening in a noisy environment. The individual may have trouble when trying to follow a conversation with more than one person speaking and may find that women’s voices are harder to follow than men’s voices. People with sensorineural deafness may also find themselves feeling dizzy or experiencing ringing in the ears.

There are many different causes of sensorineural hearing loss. Sometimes this form of hearing loss is present since birth. The disorder could have an underlying genetic cause. It can also come about from certain infections which can be passed from mother to child.

The causes of sensorineural deafness later in life are much more varied. Contact with an extremely loud noise – also known as acoustic trauma – is one possible reason. Steady exposure to lower level noise, such as working with noisy equipment or listening to loud music, can also lead to inner ear damage.

Many people don’t realize that a virus can lead to sudden, sensorineural hearing loss. The viruses that lead to measles, mumps and meningitis can all result in hearing loss. Meniere’s Disease, a syndrome that causes vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus, can also lead to fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss. Corticosteroids may prove helpful in these two cases.

Head trauma and abrupt changes in air pressure can cause sensorineural hearing loss, as can other physical issues such as tumors. Otosclerosis, a hereditary disorder in which a bony growth in the middle ear disrupts hearing, is another physical cause of sensorineural hearing loss.

While sensorineural hearing loss can have a hugely negative impact on your quality of life, there are treatments available.

Strategies for Purchasing Ear Plugs for Professional or Casual Use

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your ability to hear is to wear ear plugs. Ear plugs physically impede sound waves when inserted into the ear canal. Shopping for ear plugs can be confusing, as there are a large variety of styles available, but with patience and a little bit of know-how you can find the plug for you.

The first thing to think about when shopping for ear plugs is the amount of noise reduction you need. Take a look at the noise reduction rating (NRR) on the box to find out how much sound it cancels out: better quality plugs have a rating between 21 and 33. Think about where you plan to use your ear plugs. For example, you will find that plugs with a lower NRR will be sufficient if you plan to use them to block out traffic noise while working or studying. However, if your profession requires you to spend time around loud equipment or music, a higher rating is more appropriate.

Third, evaluate the different materials that ear plugs are made from. The most basic material is foam. These plugs are compressed as they are inserted, then expand to plug the ear. Alternatively, silicone plugs are molded over the outside of the ear canal, allowing you to create a plug that fits your ear perfectly. Both types of plugs are disposable.

Your final step is to consider why you are shopping for plugs in the first place. You can get away with using a simple silicone or foam plug in many situations, but there are specific plugs made for certain environments. For example, musicians often have custom ear plugs molded for them because they spend so much time around loud music both practicing and performing. These plugs are carefully crafted to fit your ear, allowing you to hear what you are playing while blocking out harmful sounds.

A totally different use of ear plugs is to block out a partner’s snoring while sleeping. Ear plugs for sleeping are fairly advanced. They are able to block out the sounds of snoring while permitting you to hear your alarm clock or fire alarm. Take time to test out the plugs with your head tilted to the side. This helps you figure out if they will be comfortable to wear while you are lying down.

Although there are many choices of ear plugs, a little advanced planning will help you narrow in on the ideal pair.

Overview of Important Hearing Health Non Profit Organizations

You want to help people struggling with hearing loss, but the range of charities is tremendous. Just a few of the factors to consider are the cause itself, the trustworthiness of the organization, and how the resources are used. Here are a few hearing-health specific charities you may want to consider as part of your search.

Hearing Health Foundation – Since the 1950s, Hearing Health Foundation has been committed to serving people with hearing loss. The organization has two main areas of focus. One is research into new treatments and cures for hearing loss. The other is hearing loss prevention through public education. For example, the largest research project at the moment focuses on cures for tinnitus. The Hearing Health Foundation makes it easy for supporters to get involved. Money is always the easiest donation for a charity to accept. This can be in the form of a one-time donation, monthly donations or gift of stock. If you prefer to be involved in a more hands-on way, you can share with them your personal experience with hearing loss or tinnitus, participate in fundraisers, or offer to name one of their research grants. Learn more or join today on their official website at www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

Hearing Loss Association of America – The largest organization dedicated to helping people with hearing loss is the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Its mission is to provide resources and support to individuals with hearing loss and their families while educating the public about hearing impairments. HLAA does work on a local, state and national level and part of its mission is to influence legislation that impacts the hearing impaired. Visit the HLAA website at www.hearingloss.org to become a member or for information about upcoming charity walks in your area.

Starkey Hearing Foundation – As a huge national and global foundation, Starkey Hearing Foundation provides hearing health services in three ways: Hear Now, Listen Carefully, and Hearing Aid Recycling. The Hearing Aid Recycling does exactly what the name implies. It accepts donations of used hearing aids and refurbishes them for people who cannot afford a new one. Listen Carefully is an educational program aimed at young people to educate them about the harm that loud noise and headphone use can cause. The Hear Now program focuses on providing hearing aids to those who cannot afford them on their own. For the most up-to-date information of the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s activities and current needs visit their website at www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.