Hearing impairment, deafness, or hearing loss refers to the inability to hear things, either totally or partially. Symptoms may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three basic types of hearing loss:
1. Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss happens when hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones (the malleus, incus, and stapes).
2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, also known as nerve-related hearing loss.
3. Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed Hearing Loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
Causes of Deafness
Deafness can be caused by the following:
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Head trauma
- Virus or disease for e.g. meningitis
- Infection in the ear canal
- Foreign body in the ear
Symptoms of Deafness
General signs of hearing loss:
- Difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in group situations.
- Asking people to repeat themselves.
- Listening to music or watching television with the volume higher than other people’s need.
- Difficulty hearing the telephone or doorbell.
- Finding it difficult to tell which direction noise is coming from.
- Regularly feeling tired or stressed, from having to concentrate while listening.
Each individual knows how important the ability to hear is and no one wants to suffer from deafness. This week’s article highlighted the causes of deafness and signs of deafness. We encourage all to take careful note, do your best to prevent deafness and seek medical attention if necessary.