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Loss of Hearing
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There are lots of people who suffer from hearing loss that is they are known to be hard of hearing or deaf. It has been observed that over half of the people aged over 60 are hard of hearing or deaf.

Causes of Hearing loss

There are several causes of hearing loss. They are divided into two main types that is conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. It is caused by anything that interferes with the transmission of sound from the outer to the inner the outer to the inner ear.

The main reasons for this are like middle ear infections i.e. otitis media, collection of glue in the middle ear, blockage of the outer ear by wax, damage to the eardrum by infection or an injury.There may also be certain other conditions like otosclerosis that is a condition in which the cossicles of middle ear become immobile because of growth of the surrounding bone. Rarely, it may also occur due to rheumatoid arthritis affecting the joints between the cossicles.

Symptoms of Hearing loss

It is mainly due to damage to the pathway for sound impulses from the hair cells of inner ear to the auditory nerve and the brain. The various causes are as follow-

There may e age-related hearing loss that is many people experiences hearing loss at an older age. Acoustic trauma caused by injury due to loud noise, viral infections of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease and intake of certain drugs such as aspirin, quinine and some other antibiotics, may all lead to sensor -neural hearing loss.

Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

In adults, hearing loss may be very gradual, as in age related hearing loss or it may be very sudden as in cases of some viral infections of the inner ear. A person who experiences hearing loss can have a wide range of tests particularly at an audiology clinic of the local hospital or health centre.

When examining a person with hearing loss, the doctor wants to know how the hearing loss has developed and what sort of problem it causes. He/she performs a physical examination. Tuning forks and a special electronic device with headphones are used to test the degree of hearing loss.

Hearing tests are like an audiometer is used which produces sounds of different volumes and pitch. Hearing loss is measured in decibels bearing level. It the cause of the hearing loss seems to be due to a brain abnormality then a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the head is usually recommended.

Treatment of Hearing Loss

The treatment of hearing loss depends on the cause. A bacterial infection of the middle ear is easily treated with the help of antibiotic. Blockages of the outer and middle ears can be cleared.

If there is no cure for the hearing loss occurs due to aging then a hearing aid for one or both ears usually helps most of the people irrespective of whether the hearing loss the result of conductive or sensorineural problems. Various different types of hearing aids are available.

But when a hearing aid does not give a sufficient amplification, as with profound deafness then a cochlear implant may help. This device transmits sound directly into the auditory nerve via electrodes surgically implanted into the cochlea. It is very used, if used in combination with lip reading. It also lets a person hear the volume of their conversation easier.

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