What’s the first thing you will do when you realize that your hearing might be impaired? Well, of course, the first thing you should do is actually visit a medical professional. In addition to that, though, I am sure that you will start researching this topic and getting more informed about it. Among other things, you will want to get properly informed about the different types of hearing loss, as well as their causes and the solutions for the problem.
This is definitely an extensive topic and it will take some time for you to get properly informed about every single type, as well as the different levels of hearing loss and the different things you could do to prevent further deterioration. I’m sure that you probably have an idea about the level of your loss already and that you can take a guess whether it is mild, moderate, severe, or profound, but I suggest you first get your facts straight about those levels before actually taking those guesses. Of course, don’t forget that you will most certainly need to visit a medical professional instead of trying to treat yourself.
Yet, getting informed definitely doesn’t hurt. What’s more, it is a good idea for every single person suffering from hearing loss to get properly informed on all the types, as well as the causes and the treatment options. This way, you will know exactly what’s going on inside your body and you will probably also learn about what it is that you should do in order not to make your problem even worse or in order to possibly even get rid of it. The part of getting rid of it depends on the type.
So, why don’t we start with your learning process right away? It’s time for you to get acquainted with the different types of hearing loss so that you can learn as much as you can about your specific type in case you already know which one it is. In case you don’t, well, you will at least understand what the exact issue is after you visit your doctor and he or she names the type that you have. Without further ado, let us get started.
The first type that you should learn about is known as conductive hearing loss and it indicates problems with the middle or external ear. It occurs when sound is unable to travel from your outer ear to your eardrums and the bones of your middle ear. I suppose that you are now probably curious as to how it manifests so that you can check whether that’s your type. Once again, your doctor will tell you this, but I do understand the necessity to get informed all on your own.
Basically, when this type of impairment occurs, you won’t be able to hear muffled and soft sounds. It’s also interesting to know that people with this kind of impairment tend to hear better in noisy than in quiet environments and they can usually hear pretty well over the phone. Now, depending on the level of the impairment, a person might or might not notice this issue all on his or her own right from the start. Of course, they’ll definitely notice it after a while and it is recommended that they visit a doctor immediately, especially because this particular type doesn’t have to be permanent. But, we will get to that a bit later.
Before we get to how this problem can be solved, I am sure that you are curious about how it is actually caused. So, let us now take a look at the reasons why you might develop conductive hearing loss. For starters, this type can be caused by infections and other middle ear diseases. Disruption or fixation of small hearing bones can also be the cause, and so can perforation of the eardrum, benign tumors as well as scarring in the ear canal.
In addition to those causes that can be said to be a bit more serious, there is one more that you need to know about. It’s the one that is probably the easiest to solve, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve our attention here. Basically, a buildup of wax in your ear can block the canal and thus cause temporary hearing loss. Click this to get better acquainted with the conductive kind of this issue as well as its causes.
The first thing you should understand is that total deafness is rarely a consequence of the conductive type, which is a great thing. A simple hearing aid can easily solve this problem, although some additional treatment methods, such as certain medications, could be necessary in certain cases. That depends on the cause of the problem.
The second type that we need to address is called sensorineural and it happens when the inner ear structures or the pathways towards the brain are damaged. This is the most common kind and, unfortunately, it is permanent and cannot be reversed. Patients suffering from sensorineural hearing loss will have a hard time understanding speech when there is background noise. They experience a lack of sensitivity to sound or a lack of interpretation of those sounds. Usually, they hear low tones much better than high-pitched sounds.
As I have already explained, this type occurs when the inner ear structures or nerve pathways are damaged. Those damages can be caused by quite a few different things, including old age, head and skull trauma, long-term exposure to loud noises, and similar. In addition to that, these can be the result of certain birth defects that can alter the structure of the ear.
Meniere’s disease can be another cause of this particular problem, but it is specific since it doesn’t affect only hearing, but also balance. There is also something called acoustic neuroma, which is basically a noncancerous tumor that can grow on the nerve that connects your ear and your brain. Acoustic neuroma is another common cause of sensorineural loss.
Once again, this problem can be solved by aids. In some instances, however, the condition can deteriorate so much so that these aids won’t be able to help. In those cases, patients usually resort to cochlear implants which are surgically implanted and work by directly stimulating the hearing nerve. This implant will help patients hear the sounds that they couldn’t have heard before as well as understand speech much better, which is why it has become a rather popular option these days.
This article gives you the details on all the types: https://www.healthline.com/health/hearing-loss
There is only one type left for us to address. It’s called mixed hearing loss and, as the name says it, it has properties of both the conductive and the sensorineural type. I suppose that you could have guessed that all on your own. This is actually a pretty common condition.
I suppose that you can also take a guess here as well. Since this is a mixed type, it means that it can be caused by all kinds of problems that actually cause conductive and sensorineural losses. The best thing to do is consult a doctor and let them give you their diagnosis and thoroughly explain the causes.
As you have probably already understood, in order to treat this type, you’ll first have to check whether there are any underlying issues such as infections and similar that could have resulted in conductive hearing loss. Once you have done that, you can proceed to treat the actual hearing loss with the help of an aid, or with the help of the cochlear implant if necessary. Once again, your doctor will be the judge of that.