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What is Hearing Impairment and How to Treat It?

What is Hearing Impairment and How to Treat It?

Hearing impairmentor partial deafness is the inability to listen to sounds. Though many may not say this, a lot of people suffer from this issue. But it’s essential to identify such individuals so that proper care can be given to them. To determine hearing impairment disability, it’s crucial to identify the tell-tale signs. The symptoms can differ from mild to moderate to profound.

A person who has mild deafness might find it hard to hear sounds if there is a lot of background noise. An individual with moderate hearing issues, on the other hand, may require a hearing aid to be able to understand better. Those who have a higher level of the hearing issue may have to depend on lip-reading or other forms of communication to talk to others, or even understand what is being said.

Types of hearing impairment

Hearing impairment are conditions that can be treated with a proper diagnosis. It is important to know about the different types of hearing impairments so that you can reach out for help when required.

Mixed hearing loss

This happens when some infection damages both the eardrums and ossicles. In a severe situation, surgery may have to be conducted to restore hearing.

Sensorineural hearing disability

It is a dysfunction of the inner ear, auditory nerve, or the cochlea. This hearing loss results from the damaged sensory cells or hair cells in the cochlea.

Conductive hearing loss

This condition arises when vibrations do not pass from the outer ear to the inner ear, primarily through the cochlea. Such a situation can occur due to excessive ear wax build-up, perforated eardrum, and malfunctioning of the ossicles.

Causes of hearing impairment

There are multiple causes that can lead to hearing impairment disability. Some of them are:

  • Mumps
  • Chickenpox
  • Syphilis
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Some types of cancer
  • Lyme disease
  • Treatment for tuberculosis

Tests

Once the issue has been identified, it is advisable to follow it up by some form of diagnosis to understand the extent of the problem. Based on the findings, a treatment protocol can be created.

Audiometer testing

A seasoned audiologist conducts these tests. The patient is made to wear earphones and is advised to listen to the words and sounds directed to each ear.

App hearing

Nowadays, apps are available that enables an individual to examine themselves. These apps can be used quickly after downloading them on any mobile device.

Screening test

This is a traditional method where a doctor can use whisper tests to determine the level of hearing impairment of patients. The patient is made to cover one ear and listen to words and sounds through the other. However, the accuracy of these tests is quite limited.

Tuning fork test

Tuning forks are metal instruments with two projections. Whenever these two fork heads are struck, they produce a particular sound. Simple tests conducted using tuning forks help the doctor to understand the level of hearing impairment of the patient. These tests are ideal for identifying the exact position of ear damage.

Physical exam

This form of diagnosis is the most common one. The doctor looks close into the ear to find out any possible reason for hearing loss, like inflammation or earwax build-up. Additionally, structural causes of hearing loss are also looked into.

Treatments

Cochlear implants

If the hearing loss is severe, and the patient cannot benefit from conventional hearing aids, cochlear implants are opted for. While hearing aids amplify the sound and channel it into the ear canal, cochlear implants reach the hearing nerve directly.

Surgery

If there are abnormalities in the structuring of the eardrums or bones like the ossicles, surgery can be a way of fixing that glitch. In case there is any form of fluid formation in the ear, doctors can insert tubes to extract that fluid from the ears through surgery.

Earwax removal

Being the most common cause of hearing loss, earwax is often removed by trained professionals to make hearing better. The doctor might be using a small suction tube or a small tool with a loop in the end to conduct the earwax cleaning procedure.

Hearing aids

Many a time, hearing loss can be due to the damage of the inner ear. In such cases, a hearing aid is used to cure the problem.

Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure. In that light, the following practices can prevent the loss of hearing.

  • Put the television or the music system in low volume. This especially goes out for children since their hearing is more susceptible to suffer due to excessive noise.
  • If one works in a noisy environment like workshops, factories, discos, pubs, wearing earmuffs is essential.
  • Use q-tips and cotton swabs carefully.

Hearing loss is just another disease. Getting it treated on time can save a person from a lot of trouble.

Author Bio:

PizaGogoi is a digital marketing aficionado who’s perpetually active on Twitter and LinkedIn. She loves writing blogs on various niches like lifestyle, travel,health blogs, & many more. Always on the lookout for the latest and greatest online as well as offline, Piza devotes a major part of her day articulating her thoughts and experiences through words.