Types of Hearing Loss
There are more than 500 million people with a hearing loss worldwide and by the year 2015 the figure is estimated to be 700 million. The main reason for this increase is that we are exposed to an increasing amount of noise from our surroundings. It is a misconception that hearing loss only affects elderly people. Fifty percent of all hearing impaired people are below the age of 65 years. Many of them are children or young people.
Reduction in hearing ability may be considered a common part of the ageing process, but that does not mean you should accept a hearing loss passively. Hearing loss affects one’s quality of life and communication with family and friends. Surprisingly many adults and elderly people live with a hearing loss for year, even when help is within easy reach. Sometimes a gentle push from friends or family is helpful.
Protect your hearing
Age-induced hearing loss is the most common form of hearing impairment. Age-induced hearing loss is caused by the gradual degeneration of hair cells in the inner ear, Alternately, hearing loss can be due to trauma, from a very loud sound, such as an explosion or a gunshot. This can cause permanent hearing loss. Long-term exposure to noise or loud sounds can also lead to permanent hearing loss. Today’s world can be very noisy. Many sounds are enjoyable, but unfortunately there are situations where sound becomes noise. The best we can do for our hearing is to avoid excessive noise. This can be difficult, but you need to protect your hearing at home, at work, or at play.. Our sense of hearing is an essential part of communication, and is consequently of significant importance to our social well being. Being aware of your environment and avoiding noisy situations will assist you to protect your hearing as you age
There are three types of hearing loss:
While the symptoms for each loss may be similar, the cause can be very different.
Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss:
fluid in the middle ear from colds, ear infection (otitis media), allergies (serous otitis media), poor eustachian tube function, perforated eardrum, benign tumors, impacted earwax (cerumen),
infection in the ear canal (external otitis), swimmer’s ear (otitis ecxterna), presence of a foreign body or absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear.
A conductive hearing loss is caused by a problem with the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically.
A sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and is a result of damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve. Some causes are presbycusis (hearing loss associated with ageing), noise exposure, acoustic neuromas, drugs, measles, mumps and Meniere's disease. This type of loss cannot usually be medically or surgically treated – hearing aids or cochlear implants are the best solution.
A mixed hearing loss is a combination of a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.