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Hearing management

Question
Posted by: | 2018/10/20

Q.

Mild hearing loss

Hi, I recently had a hearing test (results summarised below), which indicated mild hearing loss at the 4k Hz level. The audiologist said not to worry about it, protect my ears going forward and it will very unlikely worsen. He even mentioned that it may reverse itself, especially if blood flow is promoted to the corti. For reference I am only 32 years old, so I understand any recording above the 20DB mark is not ideal. The values are for 250, 500, 1k, 2k, 4k and 8k Hz levels LEFT = 10, 5, 15, 20, 25, 20 (air conduction) LEFT = n/a, 10, 10, 20, 25, n/a (bone conduction) RIGHT = 15, 10, 15, 15, 30, 15 (air conduction) So my direct questions are: 1. Is it likely that this level of hearing loss will impact me significantly in my daily social and work (office) life? 2. Are my audiologist's comments that "it may even reverse itself" accurate? 3. How can I best promote blood flow to the ear, and in particular the corti, to potentially help any recover? Many thanks for your help. Kind regards T

Expert's Reply

A.

Hearing Expert
- 2018/10/22

Dear T

The first concern that immediately pops up is the fact that bone conduction was not performed for the right ear, and therefore we dont know the sensory function is of either ear, as that would be the "better" sensory / cochlear response that was recorded for the left bone conduction.

So with this in mind, we dont know whether the 30dB loss in the right is sensory or conductive in nature.

For noise exposed individuals it is also recommended that they test 3kHz and 6kHz as well.

I am hesitant to say it will improve, unless its conductive in nature.  In the 20 years of practice I have never seen an improvement in sensory thresholds, only when there is a conductive hearing loss (i.e. middle ear or outer ear pathology which then resolves after treatment).

I am more likely to say that the hearing loss will either remain stable, or will deteriorate as you get older.  Each person is very different when experiencing perceived hearing difficulty - some profoundly deaf individuals cope so well with lipreading etc that they have no perceived difficulty, while those with mild loss in more demanding listening jobs have experienced severe "handicap" with only a mild loss.  So it is difficult to answer that question for you, and would rather ask you to monitor how YOU cope on a daily basis and whether you are battling or coping. 

I have never heard of improving blood flow to the corti in any specific way, apart from removing factors that may have hindered blood flow, for example high blood pressure, cholesterol, improving blood flow in general by healthy eating habits, not smoking, drinking water etc. 

I would certainly recommend careful and close monitoring.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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