What Is The Cause Of Hearing loss?

Hearing loss can have many causes, one of the major causes of hearing loss is ageing. We all lose some of our hearing hair, as we age. Another common cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noise. For example, the kind of noise experienced in the workspace (especially ate construction and mining sites). Listening to loud music on smart phone or going to a loud concert can also damage normal hearing. Some diseases can also cause hearing loss, as well as some genes and gene mutations. Certain type of medications may have hearing loss as a negative side effect. Smoking, alcohol and being overweight may also result in a hearing loss .

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As discussed earlier, hearing loss occurs not just because of age, but also because of trauma from loud sounds. Let us have a brief overview of parts of ear anatomy that participate in hearing phenomenon.

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Ear anatomy is broadly divided into three parts:

  1. External Ear
  2. Middle ear
  3. Inner Ear

External ear is the region where Pinna and ear canal is present. Pinna collects incoming sound and ear canal works to amplify sound. Middle ear is prominently with ossicles, which send vibrations from the era drum to the inner ear. Inner ear composed of semicircular canals and cochlea. Semicircular canals help with balance and cochlea contains the hair cells, which when damaged by loud sound or any of the above-mentioned phenomena results in hearing loss. Vestibular never in cochlea sends information about the body’s position to the brain. Cochlear nerve sends information related to sound and the eustachian tube controls air pressure in the ear.

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By now, it is clear that hearing loss is the very common health issue, and age-related hearing loss being the most common.  The main causes of hearing loss are ageing, exposure to loud noises, infections, injuries to head or ears, birth defects or genetics, reactions to drug or cancer treatments. 

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There are few distinct types of hearing loss that in our day-to-day life we rarely think about, although there are many causes of hearing loss, but there are two types of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive 
  2. Sensorineural 

Conductive hearing loss occur due to problems with the outer or middle ear. It is often treatable through medical or surgical methods. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common and is caused by a problem with the inner ear or hearing nerve. It is usually permanent and can be helped with using hearing aids. Some individuals may have a combination of both types of hearing loss. Therefore, it is advisable to not delay getting help for hearing loss as there are many negative effects including:

  • Irritability and anger
  • Fatigue, tension, and depression
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Social rejection and loneliness
  • Reduced alertness
  • Impaired memory
  • Reduced performance on the job
  • Diminished psychological and overall health

Do you frequently ask others to repeat themselves, or have trouble understanding conversations in noisy places, and also have difficulty following fast-moving conversation? If the answer is yes, then you must be facing hearing loss if the answer is yes to two or more of these questions. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to report to the nearest healthcare professional. They can provide the best solution to fit your needs.  

What are the possible treatment options?

There are many different causes of any of these different types of hearing losses. A hearing loss could be due to some simple causes such as wax or fungal infection in the ear. It could be in the conditions where the ear drum is perforated, where the bony chain and the ear gets fixed and it could be due to age related problems, secondary to diabetes or hypertension. It could also be secondary to drug abuse or a side effect of using some drugs.

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So, the treatment mainly depends on the causes. A person with wax in the ear can be treated simply by removing the wax or fungus. People with perforated ear drum need to undergo surgery or they have an option of using hearing aids. Conditions where the nerve is damaged or the inner ear is damaged, hearing aid is the only option available to them.

We highly recommend consulting a good audiologist before coming to any conclusion,

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