Understand Hearing Loss Better: What Causes Hearing Impairment?

Hearing Impairment

 

Hearing loss can result from a lot of different reasons. Some people are born without the ability to use their hearing sense, while others develop it later on as they grow up. Understanding what causes deafness can help you appreciate the opportunity that is given to protect your hearing health.


This guide is for everyone, either you’re reading this for yourself or for your kids, as a reminder to give you and your hearing the extra protection it needs as early as now.


BASIC TYPES OF HEARING LOSS AND THE POSSIBLE CAUSES BEHIND IT


Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss happens when sounds are not able to travel from the outside of the ear to the inner parts such as ear drums and tiny bones. This can be brought about by blockage of foreign bodies such as ear wax and fluids. Perforated eardrums and abnormal ossicle growth can also cause this type of hearing loss.

 
What causes conductive hearing loss?
 
This type of hearing loss can be either congenital or acquired. The following explains the 2 types of conductive hearing loss.
 
Congenital Conductive Hearing Loss
 
Congenital deafness happens during a mother’s pregnancy and is usually progressive for the first decade of the child. This type of hearing loss may result from the following reasons:
  • Congenital stenosis: This is a condition that describes the narrowing of ear canals due to birth defect.
  • Malformation of the middle ear structures
Acquired Conductive Hearing Loss
 
Acquired deafness on the other hand happens some time after childbirth and may be triggered by the following reasons:
  • Cerumen or earwax build up
  • Infection: Otitis externa, inflammation on the outer ear and Otitis media, inflammation on the middle ear, may also hinder sounds from traveling to the inner ear because of swelling or fluid buildup.
  • Perforated eardrums: A hole in the eardrum may result from infections or trauma. When this happens, the ability of the eardrums to catch sound vibrations deteriorates.
  • Otosclerosis: Ossicles are small bones in the middle ear that functions as transmitters of sounds to cochlea. In the event that these tiny bones stiffens, it will fail to do its job well.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
 
Sensorineural hearing loss comprises most of hearing cases around the world. This type of hearing loss means that the organ is having a problem in the cochlea, which transforms sounds into neural messages that get sent to the brain. Damage on these parts of the hearing sense occurs through aging, illness, genetics, injuries, and prolonged exposure to loud noise.
 
What causes sensorineural hearing loss?
 
This type of hearing loss can also be either congenital or acquired. The following explains the 2 types of sensorineural hearing loss.
 
Congenital Sensorineural Hearing Loss
 
The same with conductive hearing loss, congenital deafness happens during a mother’s pregnancy and is usually progressive for the first decade of the child. This type of hearing loss may result from the following reasons:
  • Prematurity
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Low oxygen levels during childbirth
  • Pregnancy infections such as rubella
  • Genetics
Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss
 
The same with conductive hearing loss, acquired deafness on the other hand happens some time after childbirth and may be triggered by the following reasons:
  • Aging
  • Exposure to extremely loud noise
  • Disease or infections that damage the inner ear
  • Head injury
  • Tumors that affect the auditory system
  • Medications that are damaging to the hearing health
Mixed Hearing Loss
 
Mixed hearing loss occurs as a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that this type happens when the ear is having a problem in both the outer/middle ear and inner hearing systems.

Some of these causes of hearing loss can either be treated by medication or surgery, or relieved with the use of a hearing aid. In order to know the ideal action for a specific hearing loss, it is best to consult a hearing care professional, like us here at The Listening Lab, so you can be diagnosed accurately and move forward with the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.


Now that you’ve understood better the causes behind different types of hearing loss, the next best thing to do is to find out ways that can help you prevent these from happening. We wrote a separate article for that. If you are interested on protecting your hearing health, head over to this article: https://listeninglab.sg/blogs/stories/5-simple-ways-on-how-you-can-protect-your-hearing


The Listening Lab is your friendly hearing care center. If you have inquiries regarding your hearing health, we will gladly accommodate you. Head over to our branches today to claim your FREE hearing test!

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