Hearing damage: therapy, hearing aids and self-help
Depending on the cause of the hearing loss, different therapies can help, such as surgery, medication, implants or finally a hearing aid.
However, hearing protection and prevention play an essential role in the health of the auditory organ.
Treatment options and hearing aid(s) for hearing impairment
Temporary hearing loss often goes away after the cause is treated.
This is true, for example, an acute middle ear infection, a hearing loss or a circulatory disorder.
In such cases, the appropriate medication and a careful handling of the damaged hearing help.
A timely treatment often brings a good healing success, especially in conductive hearing loss, whose triggers lie in the middle and outer ear.
Here also a surgical intervention (for example, the replacement of a stiffened ossicle in the case of otosclerosis), which can improve and normalize the respective hearing damage again.
Using appropriate methods in each case, specialist surgeons remove even tumors and growths.
If the inner ear is affected, the therapy also targets the underlying disease.
If the auditory sensory cells are affected for a short period of time, for example after an overly loud club visit, they usually recover on their own.
The ear then needs rest and possibly also support from appropriate medicines.
Strongly damaging or long-lasting influences caused by toxins, noise or infections often permanently impair the hearing organ.
If this subsequently develops into a chronic sensorineural hearing loss, a hearing aid not only helps to perceive different sounds and tones again – with a high-quality hearing aid, one also has the ability to follow conversations better.
According to Phonak Paradies, this also applies to age-related hearing loss.
In addition to hearing aids, doctors also advise some sufferers to have a hearing implant: for example, if the hearing loss is far advanced or if a hearing aid always causes problems such as infections.
Especially for children with severe and congenital hearing loss, an implant may be considered a viable solution.
Hearing and understanding better again with a hearing aid
Thanks to innovative technologies with digital hearing aids, an online hearing aid is now much more comfortable to wear and easier to use.
A hearing aid acoustician or audiologist fits the respective hearing aids individually.
A distinction is made between a BTE hearing aid (behind-the-ear device) and an ITE hearing aid (in-the-ear device).
How these two different types of devices work, which is best for whom, and what advantages and disadvantages they have, depends on the individual’s condition.
For hearing aid users, it is particularly useful to engage in targeted hearing and audio training.
Hearing impaired people learn to cope with the unfamiliar hearing aid and to better classify the individual tones.
Support the hearing organ and prevent it at the same time
Hearing has a lot to do with our mental and emotional condition, but also with our physical health.
People who are tense and stressed, or who cannot concentrate enough, often hear worse.
A balanced and healthy lifestyle thus benefits hearing.
Always reduce stress, relax, avoid noise and maintain sensible ear hygiene – this is the best way to protect and preserve your sensitive hearing system and you won’t have to worry about a hearing aid.
Prevent hearing damage with noise protection at work and in everyday life
For example, if you live near an airport or on a busy road, you should wear a headband or cap. If you work in a home, there are many different soundproofing measures that can help reduce the constant annoyance of noise.
This is also a matter for the local authorities, for example by introducing noise-absorbing road surfaces or erecting noise barriers.
You can check with environmental agencies and your local municipality for ways to keep noise pollution down.
In weather and wind
If you are prone to ear infections, you should wear a headband or cap in cold weather or drafts to protect your ears.
Not listening to music too loudly
Constantly blaring music through headphones directly into the ear, loud disco music or the volume turned up all the way will lead you to permanent hearing damage and thus to a hearing aid. That’s why it’s important to turn off the constant background noise every now and then and turn down the volume.
Give your ears regular rest
After a noisy party or a noisy day, it is very important to enjoy a period of silence. This allows the cells of your hearing to regenerate. Relax and consciously switch off again and again. Regular relaxation exercises also help your hearing.
Appropriate protection when bathing
Water in the ear does not harm, but bacteria penetrate more easily. To help the water drain out of the ear after swimming, pull on the earlobe a few times while tilting the head to the side. For swimmers with sensitive hearing organs, swimming caps are recommended.
Proper ear care is essential
Ear, nose and throat specialists agree on one thing: cotton swabs are taboo for the ears. People who want to clean their ears particularly thoroughly often cause small but momentous injuries in the outer ear.
In addition, the earwax is pressed too firmly into the auditory canal. In this way, unintentional damage occurs in the hearing – the consequences then possibly lead to a hearing aid.
It is quite sufficient to gently clean the auricle with a damp cloth. Afterwards, the ears are carefully dabbed dry. Warm, not too hot air from a hair dryer also dries the ears in a gentle way.
Earplugs against noise
For many people, they are a welcome protection against noise at night. Here’s what to watch out for: The plugs should not be pressed too tightly and deeply into the ear canal. They should also fit properly and not pinch.