Much progress has been made recently in helping those who suffer with the isolating effects of hearing loss. New technologies, such as the cochlear implant, give the deaf—even those who may not have had hearing from birth—the opportunity to enjoy the everyday sounds of life.
With our help, you can achieve a level of communicating that will enrich your life to the fullest.
Hearing loss can be the result of many conditions, but it is generally divided into two categories.
- conductive hearing loss
- sensorineural hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss results when sound waves have trouble reaching the tiny hair cells in the cochlea (inner ear). Blockage in the ear canal from wax or swelling of the ear canal, as seen in swimmer’s ear, can result in conductive hearing loss. Most causes of conductive hearing loss are treatable either medically or surgically.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the hair cells in the cochlea are damaged and fail to transmit signals to the brain. Inherited problems of the inner ear can either cause hearing loss at birth or increasing hearing loss later in life.
Some inherited hearing loss can be related to other inherited issues, such as eye problems or heart problems.
Hearing loss can also be caused by viruses. The hearing loss can begin suddenly and may occur with ringing in the ears and dizziness. Corticosteroids, if given within the first 10 to 30 days are usually helpful in treating this condition.
A common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is long-term exposure to loud noises. As a general rule, if your ears are ringing after you leave a noisy environment, the sound could be damaging to your inner ears.
WVU Medicine Health Report: Tinnitus
Simple aging can also result in hearing loss. Part of the hearing loss seen in old age may be due to the long-term effects of noise over a lifetime. Other people may just be prone to losing their hearing as they get older due to genetic susceptibility.
Other causes of hearing loss can include:
- Meniere’s disease
- head injuries