Deafness is a condition where a person experiences partial or complete hearing loss. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, aging, exposure to loud noises, infections, injury, or certain medications. Deafness can be classified as either congenital or acquired. Congenital deafness is present at birth and can be caused by genetic factors or complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Acquired deafness, on the other hand, occurs after birth and can be caused by a variety of factors, as mentioned above. Deafness can range from mild to severe and can affect one or both ears. It can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to communicate, socialize, and participate in everyday activities. However, there are many tools and technologies available to help individuals with deafness overcome these challenges, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language, and other forms of assistive technology.
Dr. Vijay Bharath Reddy
St. Theresa's Hospital Provides best Treatment for Deafness in Hyderabad at most affordable cost
Causes of Deafness
Congenital causes of deafness include :
- Genetic factors: Some types of deafness are inherited from parents who carry a gene for hearing loss.
- Infections during pregnancy: Infections such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes can cause deafness in a developing fetus.
- Complications during childbirth: Premature birth, lack of oxygen during birth, and other complications during childbirth can cause deafness in a newborn.
- Exposure to loud noises: Long-term exposure to loud noises, such as in a noisy workplace or from listening to music at high volumes, can damage the inner ear and lead to deafness.
- Aging: As people age, the sensory cells in the inner ear can gradually become damaged, leading to age-related hearing loss.
- Infections: Infections such as meningitis, measles, and mumps can cause deafness.
- Head injury: A severe head injury can damage the inner ear and lead to deafness.
- Ototoxic drugs: Certain drugs, such as some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, can damage the inner ear and lead to hearing loss.
- Diseases: Diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
- Earwax buildup: Blockage caused by excessive earwax can prevent sound from reaching the inner ear, leading to temporary deafness.
- A feeling that people are mostly mumbling or speaking illegibly
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Watching TV with a very high volume or talking too loudly.
- Getting ringing, hissing or roaring sounds in the ear.
- For children, the symptoms are, delay in speech and language development, failing to identify the origin of a sound, learning disability, not getting startled at loud sounds.
Precautions & Treatments
- Protect your ears from loud noise: Avoid or limit exposure to loud noise, or wear hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs when you’re in loud environments like concerts, construction sites, or shooting ranges.
- Be mindful of headphone and music volume: Limit the volume when using headphones or earbuds, and take breaks to give your ears a rest.
- Maintain good ear hygiene: Avoid inserting foreign objects like cotton swabs into your ear, which can damage the ear canal or eardrum and increase the risk of infection.
- Get regular hearing check-ups: It’s important to have your hearing checked regularly, especially if you work in a noisy environment or have a family history of hearing loss.
- Hearing aids: Hearing aids amplify sounds and help people with hearing loss hear more clearly. They come in different styles and sizes, and can be customized to fit your hearing needs.
- Cochlear implants: For people with severe or profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can be surgically implanted to bypass damaged parts of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
- Assistive listening devices: Devices like amplified phones, flashing doorbells, and vibrating alarm clocks can help people with hearing loss stay connected and aware of their surroundings.
- Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to treat infections, inflammation, or other conditions that can affect hearing.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the ear or remove tumors that may be causing hearing loss.