Hearing loss is a condition that can be attributed to a number of causes. The first ever school for the deaf was opened by Abbe Charles-Michel. An American named Thomas Galludet, who witnessed Abbe teaching young men how to communicate despite having an inability to hear, depicted the activity. He then returned to America where he founded the American School for the deaf in Connecticut and utilized tools learnt from the French man Abbe.
Hearing loss can be total or partial inability to hear. This loss may be occurred in one ear or even both. Hearing loss can affect learning skills in children and may cause depression and loneliness in adults. Loss from hearing can be temporary of permanent depending on the cause. The loss of hearing can be associated with a number of causes including ageing, genetics, noise, complications in birth and trauma to the ear. Some medications can even affect the ability to hear in humans. Up to 50% of cases of hearing loss is preventable through immunization, pregnancy care, avoiding loud noises and particular drugs. Individuals with inabilities to hear often see the inability as a ‘difference’ from the normal human, rather than illness.
Signs and Symptoms of hearing loss
A number of symptoms may point to partial or temporary hearing loss and these include; inability to hear properly over a normal telephone, loss of understanding of sound direction, difficulty understanding when individuals are speaking same language, muffling of sounds, need for louder sounds from television and radio. Secondary symptoms of hearing loss include hyperacusis, tinnitus, vertigo and tympanophonia.
Causes of hearing loss
A number of factors may induce hearing loss. These factors may be natural or artificial. They include ageing, noise and genetics. Most people do not know this, but hearing loss can be passed through generations. It can therefore be inherited through genes. Other causes include perinatal problems such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders common to people who had alcoholic mothers. Premature birth may also be a cause of hearing loss. A number of disorders can also cause hearing loss such as strokes, multiple sclerosis, perilymph fistula, viral infections and many more. Meningitis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia, acoustic neuromas, otosclerosis and a number of congenital problems represent extreme causes of hearing loss.
Certain medications have the ability to affect hearing. They include loop diuretics like furosemide and bumetanide. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen also prove to have effect.
A general medical practitioner, otolaryngologist, audiologist and audiometrists can diagnose problems of hearing loss. Individuals experiencing loss in hearing are often subjected to hearing tests.
More than 50% of cases in hearing loss can be prevented. This includes immunization against rubella, as this is a major source of hearing deficiency at birth. Individuals can also use hearing protectors and regulate regulating noise at workplace
Treatment & Surgery
Treatment for hearing loss depends on the cause of the occurrence. Most cases of hearing loss in old age originate from noise. Hearing aids and assistive technology can be prescribed to alleviate this problem. Surgery cannot be performed if hearing loss occurred naturally, but it is often employed with respect to the cause of the hearing loss.
Most cases of hearing loss can be prevented. Quite a lot of cases originate at birth; therefore, pregnant mothers should take extra care of substances ingested such as alcohol and tobacco. Also, if experiencing cases of hearing loss, an individual should seek medical attention quickly, as quick detection may help to solve the problem.