Our hearing is very important to our lives and fortunately, most people will never experience any major hearing problems. As we get older, however, there are some issues that can arise, either as a result of genetics or disease, or some other factor. It can be very easy to panic when hearing problems first start as the thought of losing your hearing altogether can be very frightening. It is important to stay calm if you start having any issues and to follow the right steps to get to the bottom of the problem.
To help anyone out there who is having issues, here are some possible solutions for dealing with your hearing problems.
1. Clean Your Ears
Cleaning your ears may seem like an overly simple solution to a hearing problem, but it can actually be very effective in many cases. Whilst cleaning your ears clearly isn’t going to reverse deafness, it can help to remove wax or other debris which is reducing your hearing ability or causing ear discomfort or tinnitus. Carefully insert a soft cotton bud into your ear, twisting it on its way in and its way out. Different people can comfortably insert cotton buds to different depths in their ears but what is most important is that you don’t go too far as you can damage your eardrums. Keep cleaning until you have cleared all the wax out. Another technique is to use a plastic syringe with warm water to loosen up the wax before you clean it out with a cotton bud.
2. Visit an Ear Doctor
If cleaning your ears isn’t having any noticeable effects or the extent of your hearing problem is more severe, the best course of action is always to visit a doctor. Every major city and town will have multiple ear doctors so you should be able to find one. In New York, for example, there are multiple doctors in every borough. One ear doctor Staten Island explains that an ear specialist is able to diagnose various hearing problems and ear conditions by running a variety of tests.
The first test will usually be a physical exam during which the doctor will look inside your ear to see if there is a buildup of wax or any sign of an infection. They may also use tuning forks or audiometers to get a better idea of your problem as well as check for any structural damage by using an x-ray machine. Depending on what your doctor finds, they will be able to prescribe a range of treatments from medicines to surgery.
3. Consider a Hearing Aid
One common solution to hearing problems that your doctor may prescribe if medicine and cleaning don’t work is the use of a hearing aid. Many adults, in particular, are wary of this option because they remember how big and conspicuous hearing aids were when they were children. Modern hearing aids, however, are far less conspicuous and are designed to be practically unnoticeable. You may even know someone now who has a hearing aid and you didn’t even realize it because it is hidden behind their ear or beneath their hair. Hearing aids can really help if you have lost hearing due to damage to the inner ear and you can easily slip them off to sleep.
4. Get Cochlear Implants
While a traditional hearing aid works by directing amplified sound into your ear from the outside, cochlear implants are fitted inside the ear itself in order to improve hearing. They work by bypassing and nonfunctional parts of your ear by stimulating your hearing nerves directly. For people who experience limited improvements from a traditional hearing aid due to more severe hearing problems, a cochlear implant is often the best solution. Discuss this option with your doctor and they will be able to best advise you.
5. Learn Sign Language
If your hearing has deteriorated to the point where you are experiencing near or total deafness, one great solution is to learn sign language. While this can be a little difficult to learn at first, you can make it a fun activity to do with your friends and family. More and more people are learning sign language these days, and it is being taught as standard in many schools across the US and elsewhere.
Experiencing hearing problems or even losing your hearing altogether can be very concerning. The important thing is not to worry too much and to speak to a doctor about the options available to you. They may just be able to prescribe medication or give your ears a good clean, but if not, there are many options available such as hearing aids, implants, and learning sign language.