Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, ageing, diseases, sometimes heredity, occupational noises, recreational noises, medication, and sometimes illness. As a result, people may find it difficult to have conversations with friends and families.
The main reasons for hearing loss:
- Damage to the ear:
Age factor and continuous exposure to loud sounds cause wear and tear on the nerve cells in the cochlea, which send signals to the brain and are damaged. As a result, the signals are not transmitted efficiently. Hearing loss is caused by difficulty picking the words against the background noise.
- A gradual buildup of earwax:
The earwax blocks the ear canal and obstructs the sound waves. Removal of earwax can restore hearing. However, sometimes the earwax blockage may be reversible causing hearing loss.
- Ear infection and abnormal growth of tumour:
The abnormal growth of tumours in the outer or middle ear can cause hearing problems. Some types of hearing loss can be rectified by surgery.
- Ruptured eardrum:
A loud blast sounds, a sudden change in the pressure, or poking the eardrum with a sharp object causes the eardrum to rupture, which causes hearing loss.
Age-related and damaged nerve cilia cannot be repaired but, depending on the severity of the damage, can be treated with a hearing aid or cochlear implants. The main four types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
It is due to illness, the medication that is toxic to hearing, ageing, injury to the head, or listening to loud sounds and explosions, muffled hearing, difficulty in understanding the speech, dizziness, ringing in the ear, or stuffy sensation in the ear. Stress can also cause hearing loss.
- Conductive Hearing Loss:
It is caused due to the fluids in the middle ear due to cold or allergies, ear infections, poor functioning of the Eustachian tube, or a hole in the eardrum. Benign tumours can block the outer or middle ear. Earwax stuck in the ear canal, an infection caused in the ear canal called swimmer’s ear, an external object like a pebble stuck in the ear while playing, some have birth defects such as being born without an external ear, deformed ear canal or bone in the middle ear.
- Mixed Hearing Loss:
It is a mixed hearing loss of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, which means the damage is on both sides of the outer and inner ear. As a result, the outer ear cannot conduct the sound properly to the inner ear. As a result, the inner ear cannot properly sound to the brain.
- Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder:
The person can hear the sound in this disorder, but the problem is while sending it to the brain.