Is there any invisible hearing loss?

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Hearing loss is not exclusive to the elderly. According to statistics released by the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion young people aged 12-35 worldwide are currently at risk of permanent hearing loss. Young people's unscientific living habits or frequent exposure to loud noise environments are the main causes of hearing loss.


Is there any invisible hearing loss? What is hidden hearing loss? Noise, aging, and ototoxic drugs are three risk factors that are currently clearly related to hidden hearing loss. These risk factors lead to lesions in the cochlear afferent pathway, which do not affect absolute hearing sensitivity, that is, the thresholds of conventional audiometric examinations are normal, but only manifest as a decrease in speech recognition rate in a noisy environment.
For people with hidden hearing loss, their audiograms are likely to look the same as those of normal people. Hidden hearing loss is therefore a hearing loss that is not easily measured using conventional hearing testing methods.
The main damage site in patients with hidden hearing loss is the inner hair cell synapse. Foreign studies have found that auditory nerve patients with synaptic lesions have poor modulation. Wearing hearing aids with slow compression can improve modulation and improve speech recognition rate.
On this basis, the researchers further studied and found that slow compression achieved lower modulation than fast compression. Slow compression has a better effect on time resolution for elderly people with synaptic lesions. , the evaluation after wearing the hearing aid also showed good results. Therefore, people with hidden hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids as long as they are properly fitted.


Is there authenticity even if hearing is normal?
We know that the sound frequency range that humans can hear is 20Hz~20kHz. The so-called normal hearing means that you can communicate normally with people and hear whispers; from the perspective of hearing mechanics, it means that the hearing threshold during pure tone audiometry is ≤25dB.
Among people with normal hearing, some people have normal results when doing pure tone audiometry in the conventional 125Hz~8kHz frequency range (this range includes most speech frequencies). Some people have better hearing and can hear the wind. ; And some people have poor hearing sense. They can hear in the presence of background noise but cannot hear clearly or understand speech (that is, they have difficulty listening in the presence of noise). In this case, normal hearing is  Is it really normal?
In a recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers used the Digits-in-noise (DIN) test and patient self-reported hearing questionnaires to assess frequencies above 8 kHz. (such as 10kHz, 12.5kHz, 14kHz, 16kHz) hearing thresholds to evaluate the clinical value of ultra-high frequency pure tone thresholds.

Causes of hidden hearing loss
Causes of hidden hearing loss include noise exposure, ototoxic drugs or aging. Among them, noise exposure poses the greatest risk. We often underestimate the impact of noise on hearing. Many people, after being exposed to loud noise, such as attending a concert, find that the world becomes very quiet. At this time, our hearing has experienced a temporary threshold shift (TTS), which is a temporary decrease in hearing. Usually, after being away from noise for a period of time, your hearing will gradually return to the normal range as it repairs itself. We thought that there would be no problems if our hearing returned to normal, but this was not the case.
Loud noises can damage not only the hair cells in your inner ear, but also the auditory nerve cells. When auditory nerve cells are damaged, it can result in the inability to distinguish specific sounds in a noisy environment.

This is because when auditory nerve cells are damaged, the auditory nerves lose contact with the hair cells, so they are unable to send messages to the brain. As a result, the brain receives less acoustic information and of poorer quality, causing the brain to be unable to interpret the information correctly.


Symptoms of hidden hearing loss
Usually, hidden hearing loss does not affect the ability to hear sounds in a quiet environment. However, when there is background noise interference Sometimes, patients with hidden hearing loss have difficulty hearing sounds clearly.
The impact of hidden hearing loss may be significantly underestimated. This is because many young people go to noisy concerts or KTVs, or wear headphones to listen to loud music. These young people are at very high risk for hidden hearing loss. If you have hidden hearing loss when you are young, you may suffer more severe hearing loss as you get older.

What should I do if I have hidden hearing loss?
If you suspect that you may have hidden hearing loss, you should go to a specialist hospital and tell the doctor about your hearing problem. An audiologist can identify and diagnose your hearing through specific testsquestions and help you treat your hearing loss.

Research shows that people with hidden hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. The directional microphone and wireless microphone technology of hearing aids can improve the signal-to-noise ratio and improve speech intelligibility in noisy environments.