Deafness/ Hearing Loss

By: Emily Sampson

How hearing loss affects everyday life

People with hearing issues have troubles communicating. This causes some people to avoid social situations. They may be negative, angry, and/or depressed. Job performance is usually reduced for people with a hearing disorder. Also they have more psychological and overall health issues.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  • Inability to hear sound
  • Ringing in the Ear
  • Sensitivity to Sound
  • Social Isolation
  • Speech Delay (especially in a child)
  • Muffling of speech and other sounds
  • Ear infections
  • Ruptured Eardrums

Causes of hearing loss

  • Injuries
  • Diseases such as Meningitis
  • Certain medications
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Age related wear and tear

Is there a cure?

There is no cure but there are things that can help with hearing loss.

  • Hearing aids
  • Cohlear Implant, a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or severely hard of hearing
  • Hearing loss caused by a bacterial infection can sometimes be treated with antibiotics

There are different types of hearing loss

Sensorineural Hearing loss is the most common. It can be caused by age, noise exposure, genetics, and inner ear blood circulation issues. This type of hearing loss is permanent but can be helped with a hearing aid.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not acting efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum or the tiny bones of the middle ear. It can be caused by earwax blocking the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, middle ear infection, or obstruction in the middle ear. Hearing loss due to earwax, middle ear infection, fluid, etc are often temporary and resolve after medical treatment.

How damage / diseases cause hearing loss

To be able to hear you need tiny little bones in the middle ear to hear. Some diseases, like Otosclerosis affect the movements of the tiny bones.