The Major Cause of Hearing Loss.
I went to visit a friend and while we were on our way for an evening walk, we stopped to purchase an item for dinner, she was busy with a friend so I went ahead to bargain with the shop owner. I was speaking with him but he had his head bent on his phone without looking up at all, I felt really offended that he disregarded me as a customer and I was almost walking out when my friend walked in, clapped her hands, and screamed at the top of her voice before he looked up instantly and with smiles, he got up and attended to us properly even if my friend was screaming at the top of her voice all through the conversation.
When we walked out of the store, I was more than curious to find out what the entire attitude was about, my friend told me that he has a hearing problem and she had to scream at the top of their voice in order to have a conversation with him. I was worried for him, as he has great customer service skills and didn't deserve that (I said to myself), he may have even started his little business because no one was willing to hire him into a company, such a sad reality. I was even more curious to know why anyone would have this hearing disability and what could be done about it.
When someone is said to have a Hearing Loss condition, it means, the person cannot hear as well as others, the problem could either be with a single ear or both, this condition could also either be a mild, moderate, or very severe one leading to the inability to properly engage in conversational dialogues.
Hearing loss can affect any part of the ear either it is the outer middle or even the auditory hearing system. The ear can be classified into the following;
Outer Ear: This is the part we see as part of our head (pinna), the ear canal, and the eardrum often known as the tympanic membrane, it is the one that separates the outer ear from the middle ear.
Middle Ear: The middle ear consists of the ear drum and ossicles, (three small bones that send eardrum movement to the inner ear).
Inner Ear: The inner ear consists of the semicircular canals responsible for helping with balance, the nerves that move to the brain, and a snail-shaped organ for hearing known as the cochlea.
Auditory Nerve: The nerve here sends information from the ear to the brain.
Auditory Hearing system: This is the auditory pathway responsible for the processing of sound information as it moves from the ear to the brain.
There is no specific time when hearing loss can spring up, as it can come suddenly to anyone regardless of age or status, there are, however, factors that can trigger the condition, even more, let's get through some of those factors very fast;
Prenatal stage: This is the stage where the developing child could inherit the condition from parents, when intrauterine infection also occurs, it can affect hearing loss.
Perinatal Stage: After birth, stage could come with symptoms like; low-birth weight, birth asphyxia which is the absence of oxygen times of birth, there could also be an issue of hyperbilirubinemia which is a case of severe jaundice in the neonatal stage, as well as other perinatal morbidities that can happen.
Childhood stage: At childhood or adolescence stage, the child may be affected with a chronic ear infection, accumulation of fluid in the ear as well as meningitis and other infections that could result in ear loss.
Adulthood: At this stage, serious diseases and other ailments can contribute to an ear infections. Some of the contributing factors could be; smoking, Otosclerosis, chronic diseases, as well as sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Without classification, other factors could run across all lifespans regardless of the age group;
- A trauma to the head.
- Nutritional imbalance.
- Viral infections.
- Loud noise/sounds.
- Cerumen impaction.
- Ototoxic medications.
The level of a person's degree of hearing loss, will depend greatly on the displayed characteristics of the hearing disabilities. This makes it possible for hearing-loss to be categorized specifically into three;
Conductive hearing loss: This happens when it is impossible for sound to get into the inner ear, which could be for various reasons like excessive fluid in he ear, problem affecting the bone responsible for producing hearing abilities, or an issues affecting the eardrum.
Sensorineural hearing loss: This is a type of hearing loss that affects the inner region of the ear, the damage done to the inner region of the ear is caused by, aging, exposure to loud noise and trauma.
Mixed hearing loss: This is when hearing loss happens as a result of the combination of issues with the outer, middle and the inner ear.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, hearing loss can be grouped into four categories, it could either be mild, moderate, severe or even profound.
Mild hearing loss is when the person finds it difficult to hear soft sounds.
Hearing loss is considered moderate when very little speech is hears when someone is speaking at a normal level.
Severe hearing loss happen when the person cannot hear any speech said at a normal level except for cases of screams.
Hearing disability is described as been profound when no speeches heard and even lound sounds are only perceived.
Certain diseases could as well contribute significantly to the presence of hearing disabilities in some cases; chicken pox, syphilis, lyme disease, cytomegalovirus, mumps, sickle cell disease, lyme disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, certain cancers, arthritis. Some of these diseases could contribute to even eventual deafness if not treated appropriately and on time as well.
There has however been so much confusion between deafness and hearing loss and it is significant to be able to tell the difference between these two.
Hearing loss is a reduced ability to hear sounds like other people, while deafness happens, when a person fails to understand speech through any form of sound even when amplified, and there is also a case of profound deafness, in this case, there is a total lack of ability to hear, a person with profound deafness would not be able to detect any sound at all.
Can hearing loss be treated?
This is not to say circumstances cannot take it's toil at anytime on anyone, but these steps could help prevent cases of noise-induced hearing loss as well as age-related hearing loss.
Protect your ears: Reducing the level of your exposure to noise is a perfect form of protection. If you work in a place where there is high exposure to noise, make use of earplugs, to help you protect your ear from damaging intruding noise.
Ensure to get tested constantly especially if you work in an environment filled with great noise, do all you can to prevent further loss especially when you are already feeling the symptoms.
Stay away from extremely loud music especially while using a ear piece.
Can hearing loss lead to deaf and dumb? I think every part of the body is very important not to talk of the ear. I feel for the girl. Sometimes, hearing problems can be genetic.
Yes, hearing loss problems could graduate into eventual deafness if not treated properly and quickly too.
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