Hearing Loss- A Complete Guide

what is hearing loss

When it comes to your hearing abilities, there are a few things that can cause you to suffer from complications and problems.  Hearing loss and deafness basically relates to issues with you not being able to hear properly.  There are some major symptoms out there when it comes to having problems with hearing. Deafness is quite common but it is important to understand and identify the underlying causes.

You may come across many people who are actually quite deaf. And for them, lip-reading is a common way to make communication. If a person has certain and moderate issues of hearing, then they will be making use of what we call a hearing aid.

Sign language is also becoming quite common as the cases of hearing loss and deafness continue to rise. But why is it happening?

In what ways does it impact you and how to combat it?

These are quite common questions. And the ones we will be trying to answer with this article. So let’s begin a complete and comprehensive discussion on hearing loss.

The Causes of Hearing Loss

what leads to hearing loss problems

You may meet someone who has been deaf for as long as they were born. Or you can come across a person who began to lose their ability to talk in recent times. Whatever the situation, the onset of hearing loss happens due to a cause. And now let me talk about some of the most common causes are:

  • chicken pox
  • mumps
  • meningitis
  • sickle cell disease
  • lyme disease
  • diabetes is also common
  • tuberculosis
  • arthritis
  • there are certain kinds of cancers too
  • even smoking and second-hand smoking can trigger the condition

Now let’s talk about how you can differentiate between the different kinds of hearing problems:

Deafness vs. Hearing Conditions

Often people get confused between the two. How do you differ between the two kinds of conditions. Having a certain hearing loss cannot always be considered as deafness. The hearing loss means there is a reduced ability to how you hear sounds and the way people talk. It is disrupting the way you can properly hear sounds around you but it is not a complete loss of sounds.

However deafness is when you cannot understand the speech even if the sound is find and it is amplified. It relates to how your hearing is impaired but that is not the only reason why you cannot understand. It comes with a genetic which is not allowing you to understand the speech completely.

The most severe kind of hearing disability is what we can hearing impairment. This is when there is no hearing power at all. It is when you cannot detect at all the sound that is coming across.

So before we continue our discussion, I want to talk about how does sound even work? When you understand how this sound is actually hitting our ears, you will get a better understanding of the topic in hand.

How Does Sound Work?

how sound works

Sound basically enters our ears through what we call sound waves. It basically moves down the ear or what we call the auditory canal. And when it does, it will hit on your eardrum. And when it does, the eardrum will then vibrate. This vibration will then move from the eardrum pass and it actually hits onto your middle ear.

The process is what we call ossicles. The vibrations will continue to grow. And the movement moves from the nerve to the brain even. And when it does, the person will then have a proper hearing process and this is when the brain interprets the sound. And makes complete sense of it.

So now let me talk about the kind of symptoms you will feel when you have severe hearing loss:

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

If this is a disability you are suffering from since you were a child than in those severe cases, the condition has been built in you for a long period of time. Hence you probably don’t suffer from such severe symptoms.

However in case you are facing hearing loss in bits and pieces, there are some details which you can observe in the initial days to know there are problems. Keep an eye out for some common issues which highlight that there is trouble.

  • Sometimes it happens in a very slow process. You will be hearing muffled sounds. And with time, these sounds will begin to fade.
  • You will likely suffer from pain in either on or both of your ears
  • There is complete dizziness which will not get better with time
  • In some cases, there is also rising ringing in the ear. Sometimes it is happening in just one ear. However it can also take in both.
  • You can also suffer from pressure in your ear. Either in one or both.

Impact on Social Lives

Hearing loss can have many problems. But the biggest one of that when you are suffering from hearing issues, you will also withdraw from your social lives. This is because you are feeling distressed. Also it becomes embarrassing when you are not able to keep up with the social pressures of staying connected as you find it hard to talk and communicate like others. And you get tensed that you might say the wrong things or make the incorrect comment.

So what are the three major kinds of hearing loss:

Hearing Loss Types

There are mainly three types you should be knowing. And often your own condition can fall into one of these. They include:

Conductive Hearing Loss 

This is quite common. It happens when you are suffering from issues with the ear canal. Also it is due to the onset of problems with the ear canal. In many cases why these ear structures get infected is because there is some ear infection. Or you are suffering from a trauma or some kind of object like ear wax is building in the ear. If you don’t take care of it in timely manner, it will continue to get worse. Up to the point where you cannot clean the ear wax yourself and you will need to make use of a professional cleaning. This ear condition also takes place due to a certain trauma you are a part of. Shortness of breath is also common.

Sensorineural

This is another kind of hearing loss. It takes place when your inner hair cells are damaged in the inner ear. This is basically relating to the kind of damage your nerves have and it impacts your hearing power. You will likely suffer from problems relating to auditory nerve. It usually happens in your old age. However it is a condition which can also take place when you are getting strong exposure to different kinds of noises. It can also be an onset due to chemotherapy, radiation as well as heavy trauma. Your genes can also be a leading cause due to this hearing loss. It can happen to you if it runs in the family.

Mixed Hearing Loss

This is basically relating to when you have a combination of different kinds of hearing losses. It is when you have issues with your hearing ability. It relates to conductive and sensorineural problems. You can likely suffer from issues with your outer ear and even in your inner ear.

The problem actually becomes even worse when it is due to a family condition. It can take place due to head injuries too. And probably gets triggered due to a disorder in the family. The hearing loss can happen in one or both ears.

This is the kind of hearing loss which can actually get worse with time. In some cases, the condition will keep on getting critical. You will need to get immediate treatment for the same.

Hearing Impairment in Children

hearing impairment in children

When talking about hearing loss, know that it is a problem which can also take place in children and get worse if it doesn’t get treatment. But how do you know if there is a hearing issue in your children. Some of the most common signs your child can suffer from include:

  • The child is actually not on the same level as others in the same age group.
  • Another symptom to follow is that the child may keep on saying ‘what’ or ‘pardon’. This relates to how the child is not able to hear properly.
  • It is also common that the child is also speaking in a very loud voice. This is when you will notice how there are louder noises your child is making.
  • In some cases, if the child is speaking, the words are actually not clear.

Conclusion

understanding hearing loss completely

This article provided you with a complete overview to understand what is hearing loss and how it is different from deafness. The condition is common and there may be several symptoms and causes for the same. It is best that you identify the underlying reasons and take in a treatment in due time to ensure your health is secure. Hearing loss is becoming a common health condition. It is best you take on a complete treatment.

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