People don’t speak up the way they should. I’m not talking about speaking up concerning political or religious views. I’m talking about volume. Yes, I’ve become one of those old folks who has a slight hearing problem. As it turns out, I’m one of the twenty-five percent of adults over sixty-five who suffers from some hearing loss. After seventy-five, the number jumps up to seventy-five percent who have significant loss. I guess it’s a comfort to know that I’m part of the twenty-eight million Americans who have enough hearing loss to be a problem in everyday life.
I apparently have presbycusis, a gradual hearing loss attributed to aging. It seems to be a hereditary problem, but it can be a combination of heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises. I don’t remember listening to all those loud noises (rock and roll?) for that long a time. I was hoping all it would be an excess of wax build-up, and indeed, the doctor did manage to dig out quite a chunk of gook. It helped, but not much.
Ears aren’t simply funny-looking bumps on the sides of our heads, perfectly arranged for holding our glasses in place. That part’s called the pinna, and it’s formed to gather in sounds from all around and channel it into the outer ear canal, which carries the sound to the middle ear. The sounds make the eardrum (tympanic membrane) vibrate. “Eardrum” is a fitting word since it is a thin membrane that works the same way a drumhead does. That vibration, in its turn, causes the three tiny bones in the middle ear to quiver. The three bones are the anvil, the hammer, and the stirrup. The stirrup is U-shaped and is the tiniest bone in the human body.
Again the vibration is moved on, this time to the cochlea in the inner ear. The cochlea is a fluid-filled, snail-shaped structure that makes up the inner ear. It’s lined with cilia, tiny hairs that move when vibrated. They, finally, stimulate a nerve cell. That sends a signal to the brain. There’s seems to be a lot that can go wrong on the way.
Remember that popping noise you hear when you’ve been flying, or drive up and/or down mountains? That’s caused by the Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose. It equalizes the air inside the ear to that on the outside of the body, balancing the air pressure.
There are two kinds of hearing loss. The first is conductive hearing loss that occurs when excessive earwax, a disease, or a disorder-such as damage to the eardrum or middle ear bones, due to an infection. The middle or outer ear can’t transmit sound to the inner ear. This type of problem is often treatable. Check out Sonus complete reviews in order to see how effective Sonus complete is when it comes to suppressing the symptoms of these hearing ailments.
Sensorineural hearing loss is nerve-based. It occurs when either the microscopic hair cells of the inner ear or nerve fibers, which transmit signals to the brain, are damaged or compromised. In most cases, this hearing loss is permanent or irreversible.
Tinnitus is the ringing sound people complain about. Eighty percent of the patients with hearing loss experience tinnitus. Sometimes stress control, ample rest, exercise, and the avoidance of caffeine will help relieve the irritating noise.
Hearing loss can’t be reversed, but what hearing you have left can often be improved. So I’m working on that now. In the meantime, I wish people would speak up.