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Deafness Facts

Inability to hear the sound or deafness can happen at any age for many different reasons. Some of us are genetically predisposed to be deaf and there is 1 of every 800 born babies who can’t hear because of the genetics. Statistic information reveals that more than 30 millions of people living in North America have severe hearing issues and about 2 millions of them can’t hear anything at all, being completely deaf.

People may experience different hearing problems. Some are faced with minor hearing difficulties while others can’t hear anything. Depending on the cause of deafness, we can distinguish conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. Blocked sound waves which can’t reach the inner ear usually appear in people suffering from conductive hearing loss. On the other hand, patients suffering from sensorineural hearing loss experience some kind of the damage to the nerves or to the inner ear and they can’t hear because of that. This type of hearing loss is more common cause of deafness and this may be a permanent condition.

What Can Cause Deafness?

Hearing loss may be partial or total. As we already mentioned, genetic predisposition plays a part in profound deafness and scientists discovered that in about 50% of the profoundly deaf children this condition is caused by genetic factors.

Other causes of hearing loss can include various infections of the ear, accumulation of the fluid behind the eardrum, holes in the eardrum or problems with the bones of the middle ear. All of these and some tumors in rare cases may be responsible for conductive hearing loss.

Age-associated hearing loss (also known as presbycusis) is also something you can inherit from your parents. Special sensitive hair cells in the lining if the inner ear slowly decay over the years, making the person lose the hearing over time. Diabetes, circulatory problems or loud noise may also affect these cells and lead to decay and hearing loss.

Everyone knows that loud noise can affect your hearing. Construction workers or those handling heavy equipment, as well as some people enjoying extremely loud music are at risk to develop hearing loss. The severity of the symptoms is proportional to the loudness and duration of the noise the person is exposed to.

Sensorineural hearing loss can be provoked by some infectious diseases. Children may suffer from deafness after mumps, rubella, meningitis or some inner ear infections. Meningitis, cytomegalovirus and shingles may affect the hearing of adults. Diabetes, brain and nerve diseases and tumors of the auditory nerve can also lead to hearing loss. Certain medications or physical injuries to the ear may also provoke temporary or permanent deafness.

Viral infections and disorders of the immune or circulatory system are most likely causes of sudden hearing loss. If caught early enough corticosteroid medications are proper treatment option.

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