Posted On May 23, 2023
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7 min read
Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, making communication and everyday activities challenging. There are many different causes of hearing loss, including exposure to loud noise, ageing, ear infections, and genetic factors.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available that can help individuals manage their hearing loss and improve their ability to communicate and engage in daily life. From hearing aids to cochlear implants and other assistive devices, advances in technology have made it possible to customise treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each individual. In this article, we will explore some of the common causes of hearing loss and the treatment under the supervision of ENT specialists in Bangalore available to help individuals manage this condition.
There are three main types of hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear. It can be caused by blockages or damage to the outer or middle ear, such as earwax buildup, fluid accumulation, or damage to the eardrum or middle ear bones.
Sensorineural hearing loss, on the other hand, occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve that transmits sound signals to the brain. Ageing, noise exposure, genetic factors, infections, and other health conditions can all contribute to sensorineural hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, where there is damage to both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve.
The main causes of hearing loss can be broadly categorised into three types: environmental factors, health conditions, and genetics. Let’s understand each factor in a little detail.
Listening to loud music or working in noisy environments without proper hearing protection can damage the delicate structures in the inner ear over time.
Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and some antibiotics, can cause damage to the inner ear and lead to hearing loss.
As we age, the structures in our inner ear can deteriorate, resulting in gradual hearing loss.
Infections in the middle or inner ear can damage the structures responsible for transmitting sound waves to the brain.
Head injuries or sudden changes in air pressure can cause damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve.
Hereditary factors: Genetic mutations can make individuals more susceptible to hearing loss or cause congenital hearing loss in newborns.
In the image below, we have provided common symptoms and warning signs of hearing loss.
There are several treatment options for hearing loss available at ENT Hospital in Bangalore. Some of the most important and effective treatment options are:
Hearing aids are the most common treatment option for hearing loss. They are electronic devices that amplify sound, making it easier to hear. There are various types of hearing aids available, including behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) devices.
Cochlear implants are electronic devices that are surgically implanted in the inner ear. They are most often used for severe to profound hearing loss and work by directly stimulating the auditory nerve.
BAHA is a type of hearing aid that is surgically implanted behind the ear and uses bone conduction to transmit sound to the inner ear.
Middle ear implants are surgically implanted devices that are attached to the middle ear bones to amplify sound. They are most effective for conductive hearing loss.
These devices, such as FM systems or captioned telephones, work by making sounds louder or by converting speech into written words, making it easier to hear.
Surgery may be an option for certain types of hearing loss, such as otosclerosis, which involves the abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear.
Here are some frequently asked questions on hearing loss and its causes and treatment:
Hearing loss can be caused by several factors such as age, exposure to loud noises, certain medications, ear infections, injury, genetic factors, and other health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The symptoms of hearing loss may include difficulty understanding speech, ringing in the ears, muffled sounds, and trouble hearing in noisy environments. Hearing loss is diagnosed by a hearing test conducted by an audiologist or a hearing healthcare professional.
The treatment options for hearing loss may vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Some common treatments include hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, and certain medications or surgeries.
Some types of hearing loss can be prevented by protecting your ears from loud noises, avoiding ototoxic medications, managing underlying health conditions, and practising good ear hygiene.
Hearing aids amplify sounds to make them louder and clearer for people with hearing loss. They are effective in treating many types of hearing loss, but their effectiveness may vary depending on the individual's condition and the quality of the hearing aids.