The single best way of dealing with hearing loss is to prevent it from happening in the first place. And the greatest cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. These can destroy the cilia (SILLY-AH), tiny hairs inside the ear that transmit sounds to your brain. Once destroyed, they never grow back. Earplugs are a good idea for rock concerts or occupations that require you to be in noisy surroundings. Hearing loss can also be caused by disease or skeletal abnormalities. In later life, hearing loss is fairly common, affecting about one-third of senior citizens. Higher pitched sounds are affected first; and the patient may have trouble understanding female voices while male voices remain clear. In many cases, an examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist may discover a correctable form of hearing loss and the appropriate treatment prescribed, either through medication or surgery. There are also a wide variety of hearing aids available to deal with the condition. Your doctor may help you decide on the proper form of treatment or prevention.