Hearing loss is a gradual process as we age and is more common as we age. Nearly half of the United States population of people over 65 years has some type or degree of hearing loss
Hearing loss can be defined as one of the following three types
Conductive (involves outer or middle ear)
Sensorineural (involves inner ear)
Mixed (combination of the two)
Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises both contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as excessive earwax, can temporarily reduce how well your ears conduct sounds.
Most types of hearing loss can be reversed. However, the doctor can assist you to take steps to ease the condition.
Some of the common symptoms of hearing loss include any of the following;
- Muffling of speech and other sounds
- Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly, and loudly
- Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
- Withdrawal from conversations
- People tend to Avoid some social settings
Unilateral hearing loss
Unilateral Hearing Loss
Now we will discuss Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Unilateral Hearing Loss or simply UHL indicates that hearing normal in one ear but there is a hearing loss in the other. This can span from mild to severe. This condition called Unilateral Hearing Loss can take place in both adults and children.
Nearly 1 out of 1000 children is born with Unilateral Hearing Loss and approximately 3% of school-aged children have Unilateral Hearing Loss. this condition can lead to children’s academic,speech-language and social-emotional difficulties than other normal children.
Some of the possible causes of UHL or Unilateral Hearing Loss:
- Hearing loss that runs in the family (genetic or hereditary)
- An outer, middle, or inner ear abnormality
- Some syndromes
- Illnesses or infections
- Injury in the head
- loud noise exposure
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
High-frequency hearing loss
High-frequency hearing loss is a common type of hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss signifies that high-pitched sounds are harder to hear and it can affect anyone regardless of their age. Although, this is common in older adults with age-related hearing loss. And this can also affect people with loud noise exposure.
Some of the Causes of high-frequency hearing loss
The condition where an individual suffers from age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. As thigh is a gradual process that affects both ears equally. However, this can be difficult to notice. One of the first signs is difficulty in understanding the sound in noisy environments.
Due to noise-induced hearing loss, millions of Americans have hearing damage. This damage can take place due to one-time loud exposure to noise like gunshot or explosion. And can take place with constant exposure to noise louder than 85 decibels.
if we check the family history. if the relatives have developed high-frequency hearing loss then this can pass d own genetically and you might develop it too.
Certain types of drugs like salicylates (aspirin) are ototoxic. This means that it is harmful to hearing health.
Meioere’s disease affects the inner ear and occurs mainly between the age group of 30-50 and also can include fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo, or intense dizziness. In severe cases, though, it typically causes low-frequency hearing loss.
So High-frequency hearing loss can occur with the above-mentioned conditions.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed Hearing Loss, This condition can occur due to the combination of conductive hearing loss and sensor neural hearing loss.
The definition can be “Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensor neural hearing loss (SNHL). When this is the case, it is called a mixed hearing loss. In other words, with a mixed hearing loss, there is at the same time damage to the outer and middle ear’s ability to conduct sound into the inner ear and the brain and damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. The condition can cause a mild or moderate to severe hearing loss.”
So what are the causes of mixed hearing loss?
The common signs and symptoms of mixed hearing loss include illness, drugs, genetic, head trauma, and/or deformed of the inner ear. causes for conductive hearing loss can include earwax, fluids in the middle infections of the ear and perforated eardrums, and /or deformed of the outer or middle ear.
Congenital hearing loss
Congenital hearing loss is the hearing loss that takes place at the time of birth. the causes of loss in infants include the following
Infections, such as rubella or herpes simplex virus
- The significancanly low birth weight.
- Injuries at the time of birth
- If the mother uses drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.
- Jaundice and Rh factor problems
- maternal diabetes
- high blood pressure while pregnant, called preeclampsia
- the baby not having enough oxygen called anoxia
Genetics can play a great role in hearing loss in the infant or babies. Genetic hearing loss can take place at birth or can develop later in life. The genes which lead to hearing loss can come from one or both parents.
Some babies have a genetic syndrome. Hearing loss may be a part of the syndrome. Examples include:
- Usher syndrome
- Treacher Collins syndrome
- Crouzon syndrome
- Alport syndrome
- Waardenburg syndrome
Degrees of hearing loss
You will go to an audiologist for a test. The common way for calcification of hearing loss can be summarized in the table below.
Degree of hearing loss Hearing loss range (dB HL)
Normal –10 to 15
Slight 16 to 25
Mild 26 to 40
Moderate 41 to 55
Moderately severe 56 to 70
Severe 71 to 90
Degrees of hearing loss
The digress of hearing loss include the following;
People with mild hearing loss can have a hard time hearing the soft-spoken people and children are who are young. they are mainly able to hear the loud or more intense vowel sounds. However, they can miss out the some of the softer consonant sounds.
- Moderate hearing loss
Besides missing the consonant sounds, vowel sounds now can become difficult to hear. the people who have moderate hearing loss frequent comment that without hearing aids they cannot hear sounds but can understand them,
- Moderately Severe Hearing Loss
They depend on hearing aids and without speech is not hearable. Moreover, even with aids, the speech can become hard to understand.
The speech cannot be heard without hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Without the aid, the sounds from airplane engines, traffic or fire alarms are not hearable.
Hence, there are various causes of hearing loss in people. Some are present from birth to some are genetically present. For more information, you can visit this link
Even there are various degrees of hearing loss as we discussed above.