Hearing loss in one or both ears is common because of things like ear wax buildup. When the ear canal is blocked, sound cannot go through the inner ear for being transformed into electrical signals that the brain can read. Hearing loss caused by blockages like those from ear wax is called conductive hearing loss. Learn more about why you should never allow your hearing loss to go unchecked.
Ways The Ear Canal Can Become Blocked
While ear wax buildup is a common way the ear canal becomes blocked, you should know there are also some other ways it can happen. If you suffer with chronic ear infections, your ear canal and middle ear can become blocked with fluid and inflammation. Nasal polyps can also cause ear blockage that leads to hearing loss. If you have a foreign body in your ear, it can also lead to a greater waxy buildup around it, causing blockage that creates hearing loss. For this reason, being careful about using cotton swabs in the ear is advised. If the cotton comes off the swab while you use it to clean your ear, it could become lodged in your canal and cause blockage.
The Link Between Ear Canal Blockage And Permanent Hearing Loss
A study was done that showed temporary conductive hearing loss, when not addressed within a year of its initial occurrence, led to permanent hearing loss in lab mice. Researchers have found that when your brain does not receive signals from the ear canal over the course of a year, it stops reading any signals from that ear, the cause of permanent hearing loss. When the brains does not "hear" sounds from the ear canal over the course of time, it is called sound deprivation. Sound deprivation ultimately leads to the loss of sound relaying by sensory cells that normally send signals through a synaptic connection. When there are no sounds over the synaptic connection for a year, the brain stopped "listening" for them altogether.
Never Rely On Just Your "Good Ear"
If you have experienced hearing loss in one ear, do not rely on your other ear to hear while waiting for the other one to get better on its own. By doing so, you are allowing the synaptic connection to be permanently lost. No matter how slight the hearing loss may be in one of your ears, always have it looked at by your doctor is vital for you to avoid complete and permanent hearing loss.
Caring for your hearing is important and could help you avoid the need for hearing aid devices early on in your life. Discuss with your health care provider any problems you have with your hearing today.
For hearing aids, contact a company such as Pacific Hearing Care.