Conductive hearing loss

In conductive hearing loss sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the ossicles of the middle ear. Conductive hearing impairment usually involves a reduction in sound level or the inability to hear faint sounds. Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear is dysplastic or does not work properly, therefore sound waves are not conducted to the inner ear.

Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss: Fluid in the middle ear results from cold or flu, ear infection, allergies, poor eustachian tube function, perforated eardrum, benign tumors, impacted earwax, swimmer's Ear (otitis ecxterna), presence of a foreign body, absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear and congenital deformities.

Treatment: Conductive hearing loss is much easy to treat. Ear infections, such as otitis media with effusion, one of the most common conductive hearing losses, can be treated with oral antibiotics or eardrops. Fluid behind the eardrum can be drained by a procedure known as "tubes in the ears. Ruptured eardrums also can be treated with antibiotics or surgery if necessary. A temporary dysfunction can be corrected with surgery.

Sensori – Neural hearing loss

Majority of all hearing loss can be categorized as sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This is often called neural hearing loss. The damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain can cause sudden deafness. It results from damages to the tiny hair cells in the cochlea in the inner ear. The hearing gradually becomes less acute as the person ages due to the loss of these tiny hair cells. Due to the poor hair cell function, the sound messages are not properly transferred from the hair cells through the nerves to the brain for processing to create meaning.

Sensory hearing loss can be caused by a large variety of factors including:
The hair cells destruction can be caused by prolonged exposure to high intensity noise from the work place or from listening to loud music. The sudden hearing loss can result from exposure to diseases such as mumps, meningitis, multiple sclerosis or as the side effect of drugs like aspirin, cisplatin, quinine or the antibiotics streptomycin and gentamicin. Mumps can cause profound sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral hearing loss or bilateral hearing loss. Rubella (German measles) infection of the mother during pregnancy or the low birth weight can also cause hearing impairment. Head/ear injuries can also cause sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Tumors and Hyper viscosity syndromes are a very rare cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Superficial siderosis owing to CNS bleeding can cause a slowly progressive sensorineural hearing loss and cerebellar disturbances. Though diabetes has no association with greater risk of hearing loss, they are also more susceptible to external and middle ear infections, as well as cranial nerve palsies and stroke. These problems can complicate the hearing care of diabetics. Good control of diabetes seems to be associated with slower progressing of hearing loss.

Symptoms of hearing loss may include: Ringing or tinkling sounds in the ear and difficulty hearing in the presence of background noises. Sensorineural hearing loss generally results in permanent hair cell damage Neural hearing loss treatment make uses hearing aids, which amplify sounds at preset frequencies to overcome a sensorineural hearing loss in that range; or cochlear implants, which stimulate the cochlear nerve directly. Some research suggests idebenone alone or combined with vitamin E may delay the onset of hearing loss or perhaps reverse it. If severe noise-induced hearing loss (exposures exceeding 140dB) is treated immediately (within 24 hours) with a course of steroids, it can often be almost completely reversed. This is a new field without proven success. A combination of high doses of vitamins A, C, and E, and Magnesium, taken one hour before noise exposure and continued as a once-daily treatment for five days, was very effective at preventing permanent noise-induced hearing loss in animals.

Types of Sensorineural hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. Mild to severe sensorineural hearing loss can often be helped with hearing aids or a middle ear implant. Cochlear implants are often a solution for severe or profound hearing loss. A problem that results from the absence of or damage to the auditory nerve can cause a neural hearing loss. Neural hearing loss is usually profound and permanent.
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