Understanding hearing loss

Understanding hearing loss

What is hearing loss as a type of hearing impairment

Hearing loss happens when you have reduced the ability to hear certain sounds. The sound image is incomplete, and you found it challenging to determine the direction of the sound source. More so,  you find it difficult to distinguish words you hear, and you always need to ask others to repeat themselves. People who have hearing loss cannot keep track of conversations because it appears to them that people mumble and whisper. They feel uncomfortable in noisy environments because they can not recognize sounds, they do not hear favorite TV program, a song of birds, etc.

Comes quietly and unnoticeable

Hearing loss can occur suddenly as a result of exposure to some loud sound, or slowly over an extended period. For most people, this hearing impairment happens slowly and gradually. It is not unusual for people who have hearing loss that they are not even aware of their problem. The entire process is invisible, painless and there are no physical signs of warning. It is not uncommon that family and friends are the ones who first notice the problem with hearing loss. When your ability to recognize speech and sounds around you is decreasing, you feel isolated. Hearing loss can influence your mental health.

Hearing loss comes quietly and unnoticable
Understanding hearing loss: it is not harmless

Hearing loss is not harmless

Over time, stimulation of ear organ is decreasing, so brain stimulation is also declining. This may affect the ability of the brain to process sound and recognize speech.
Hearing aids help with hearing loss. If you feel that you or your loved one have problems with hearing loss, start using the hearing aid. You will stop many negative impacts that hearing loss have on their life.

There are three types of hearing loss:

1. Conductive hearing loss (hypoacusis conductive) is damage to the air and bone conduction of the sound. Problems with the outer or middle ear are causing conductive hearing loss. This means that the sound waves are not able to efficiently travel through the outer or middle ear.
Potential causes: ear wax that is billed up in ear canal, injury of middle ear, genetic malformation of the outer and middle ear, limited mobility of the eardrum and ossicles, ear infections, tympanosclerosis, otosclerosis, etc
Treatment: You can treat this hearing loss with antibiotics, a surgical procedure, but in most cases its a hearing aid that helps improve your hearing.

2. Sensorineural hearing loss (Hypoacusis Perceptive) – main caused is damage to the inner ear, auditory nerve, or auditory centers in the brain.
Potential causes: inflammation of the inner ear, Menier’s disease, exposure to loud noises, genetics, aging, damage to the inner ear, tumors of the auditory nerve, etc.
Treatment: The best and often the only way to treat sensorineural hearing loss is with hearing aids

3. Mixed hearing loss (Hypoacusis mixta) – a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
The most common cause is a transition of disease from middle to the inner ear. It means there is damage to the outer and inner ear.
Treatment: One of the treatments is the use of hearing aids

Types of hearing loss