At a Glance: Preventing Ear Problems

A woman having ear problems

A staggering 360 million persons have some form of hearing loss, and around 9 percent of these, according to the World Health Organization. Because of this, some companies like Northumberland Hearing Center, an audiology clinic, are now focusing on providing services for preventive care. Here are some situations that have led to ear problems, ways to prevent them, and some of their costs.

When you use earphones for more than 60 minutes

Sometimes, some jobs like transcriptionists require the usage of earphones for a long time. This may lead to hearing loss. Hearing loss refers to speech heard that is muffled and understanding words with difficulty. Hearing loss has no cure. However, be it for recreational or occupational use, doctors recommend listening via earphones with 60 percent of the volume for 60 minutes only and then taking a break. Unaddressed hearing loss costs $750 billion worldwide.

When you find yourself reading lips

Otosclerosis, a disease of the middle ear, is just one illness when you read lips but is fairly common in Caucasians. One major risk factor is heredity. Otosclerosis may be treated by using hearing aids or in some cases, through stapedectomy. Stapedectomy is removing part of the bone in the ear and replacing it with a prosthetic device. Costs for such operation may reach thousands of dollars.

When you have pus or blood coming out of your ears

Ear infections, due to bacteria or virus, may lead to hearing loss. Risk factors include age, fall and winter seasons, and poor air quality. Children are most likely to suffer an ear infection. More so, around 60 percent of hearing loss in children may be prevented.

Some ear illnesses may be prevented if detected early. Observation, monitoring, and preventive care may avert such illnesses since the costs of prevention are usually far lighter than the costs of treatment.