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The Outer Ear

Hearing loss is a condition that can be caused by basically anything that completely blocks the outer canal of the ear. The blockage may be caused by earwax as well. There are also other types of blockage which decrease the volume but cause no distortion and those may include injuries, foreign bodies in the ear, infections with swelling, birth defects, and perhaps a growth in the ear canal. All of these ailments do not interfere with sound conduction and are usually correctable.

The Middle Ear

Numerous ear infections characterized by swollen middle ear lining and fluid accumulation are a common cause of temporary hearing loss. The fluids affect the proper functioning of the ossicles and the eardrum. The treatment usually involves antibiotics and sometimes drainage may be required. If not treated on time, it may lead to permanent hearing loss. Glue ear is a condition that requires drainage for the hearing loss to be removed instantly. The condition is caused by improper functioning of the Eustachian tube which balances the pressure of the ears. As the ailment progresses the air gets trapped in the middle ear, a vacuum develops and then the fluids seep out from the lining of the inner ear and because of them hearing loss occurs. Sometimes the condition resolves on its own but one can use decongestants if need be. Otosclerosis is a condition in which a new bone is deposited around the footplate of the stapes bone which leads to disturbances in bone transmission of sound to the inner ear and hearing loss. This condition needs to be treated by a surgical process called stapedectomy. Persons can also have numerous birth defects which lead to hearing loss. Benign and malignant tumors can also be the cause of hearing loss. Cholesteatoma is a common benign cyst usually associated with different types of ear infections and it requires surgery.

The Inner Ear

The aforementioned condition called otosclerosis can also cause hearing loss by affecting the cochlea which is located in the inner ear. The process of aging is responsible for destroying the hearing nerve and the inner ear which over time leads to sensorineural hearing loss. Fistula that connects the middle ear and inner ear in an abnormal manner can also be the cause of hearing loss. Head injuries can also lead to hearing loss. Another cause of hearing loss may lie in the Meniere’s syndrome which is a condition in which the hearing loss fluctuates. Other causes include excessive exposure to noise, different types of infections, neural problems and sudden deafness.

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