Sound is a powerful, vital and joyous part of our everyday lives and the world we inhabit.  We should never take our ability to enjoy sound, in any form, for granted.

5/31 is National Save Your Hearing Day.   The day is observed to draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss as well as promote the medications and therapies available to treat hearing loss.  Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing out on sounds and words. As early treatment provides the best results, it is important to ask your doctor about getting your hearing checked.  A hearing test is a good first step towards addressing the issue as it measures the level of hearing loss that you might have.

Hearing loss happens at any age due to the factors like age, overexposure to noise, genetic reasons, problems in the nerves which are towards the eardrum, prolonged illness, sudden aggravation of certain flues like Swine Flu, Impact due to medication, induction of certain chemicals and birth complications.  The beginning stage of hearing loss can be treated with medications and simple surgeries corresponding to the level of hearing loss. The advanced stage of hearing loss is not so easily treated. 

Hearing Loss is categorized into three types and several levels.  The levels are moderate, moderate to severe, severe, and profound.  The three types are conductive which happens when fluid in the middle ear causes damage to the eardrum; sensorineural which happens due to a virus, continuous exposure to noise, auto-immune system failure, and aging factors; and mixed type loss is the combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.  Treatments range from medication or therapies to minor or major surgical correction.

Prevention of hearing loss should start at a young age and continue throughout your life.  Preventive factors like limiting the use of headsets, a moderate level volume for radio and TV and other proper protective measures are suggested to prevent hearing loss.  Becoming aware of your exposure to noise is a good place to start.

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