Hearing loss is a problem that many people around us suffer. People from all age groups and ethnicity suffer from it. In the United States, only people from a young age group are suffering from this ability. Untreated hearing loss continues to become a suffering for millions of people.
What is a hearing loss?
It is when a person is unable to completely or partially hear the sounds. Such patients have decreased acuity to the sounds around them. Deafness is a big problem in our world, and we need to understand the details so that we can get towards the possible causes and probable consequences of the conditions that cause suffering and disability.
While we are discussing the inability of a person to recognize the sound waves, we must know the normal range of audible frequencies that a human ear can normally hear. According to the science, a frequency from 20 Hz to 2000 Hz is considered as audible frequency. Any frequency below or above is not audible to a normal human ear. A hearing loss is identified when someone cannot hear even the audible frequency of sound waves. The degree of loss depends upon the causative agent and the type.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss. We will discuss the causes under each category. These three categories are:
- Conductive hearing loss
This is due to an interruption in the transmission of sounds in different parts of the ear. The sound conduction through the bones of the skull, tympanic membranes, and bones of the middle ear can be impaired because of the problems in any of these. Rupture of tympanic membranes, atrophy of bones of the middle ear, cholesteatoma, benign tumors of the ear, foreign body, and congenital malformation of the ossicles are some of the many causes of conductive hearing loss.
- Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by a problem in the nerve conduction, i.e., vestibulocochlear nerve, sensory organs in the inner ear, or CNS. Sensorineural hearing loss is a permanent loss of sound perception. Congenitally deficient hair cells in the inner ear cause this kind of deafness. Other causes of sensorineural deafness are an infection, ototoxic drugs, Stickler syndrome, mitochondrial mutations, autoimmune diseases, CMV, Presbycusis, and noise.
- Mixed Hearing loss
This is combination of both above types. One type leads to another and sometimes co-exists. Drugs, injuries, and genetic disorders are some of the many causes of this kind of deafness.
Importance of Hearing Loss Treatment
A general rule is treating the cause. This is applicable in case the loss is due to impairment of sound conduction. For example, the repair/replacement of the tympanic membrane can improve. But, if the damage is done to the 8th cranial nerve or the sensory pathway, treatment is not the choice here. Identifying the type of hearing loss is important, which is most effectively done by some tests. Audiometry tests are extremely helpful in determining the type and configuration of a hearing loss.
Hearing Aids are the Most Common Treatment Option
Rechargeable aids work for hours and hours without any worries. They are cost-effective, and the battery stays for a good 24 hours. Moreover, they are user-friendly, especially for extreme ages. There are two types of rechargeable batteries that can be used with these. Lithium or zinc rechargeable batteries both are equally good.
Hearing aids with disposable batteries are under the use of more than 90 percent of users of hearing devices. They prefer disposable batteries as a backup if the rechargeable battery runs out. They are equally good in terms of the function they have to perform.
Hearing loss can be challenging to those affected by it, technology and research has offered up exciting options for treatment. Constant research and studies have helped mankind to ease the problem to a great deal. With the help of proper scanning, management, and the right devices, we can reduce the amount of disability and provide a normal social, psychological, and physical environment for people.
If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing and are struggling with communication, contact us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!