Meningitis is one of the most dangerous illnesses which causes loss of hearing. Usually, a child with meningitis undergoes numerous treatments in order to escape death. Many people lose their lives due to this disease. However, in a great percentage of those who survive, hearing loss prevails.
Meningitis and Deafness Symptoms
Even though children tend to get affected by this disease in a majority of cases, all people can get meningitis, regardless of their age. Bacterial meningitis is commonly treated by antibiotics, which will not work for viral meningitis. These antibiotics can be the cause of deafness themselves, if the disease does not trigger hearing loss first.
Meningitis manifests through abrupt high fever, followed by vomiting, headaches, rashes and sensitivity to light. This illness should be taken seriously since, without proper treatment, it can kill a person withing 48 hours. So, vaccine treatment is crucial and there are three types of vaccines for treating different variants of meningitis.
Facts about Meningitis
Statistically, 3.2% of all deaf people in the world lost their hearing due to meningitis. Moreover, 10% of meningitis survivors in the developing parts of the world end up losing their hearing.
Fortunately, this hearing loss does not have to be permanent since in many cases it is only temporary. Tests were done on 124 children who were diagnosed with meningitis recently and 13 of children who had had hearing loss during initial tests did not have it before they were discharged from the hospital. Thus, basically, the hearing loss is reversible in about 10% of meningitis cases, with 2.4% of permanent hearing loss. Of course, timely treatment makes all the difference here and people who undergo it are bound to have greater chances of having their hearing restored.
Another study found out that people with darker eye colors are less prone to losing their hearing due to meningitis than people with bright eye colors. Certain scientists claim that this could have something to do with the levels of melanin in people's bodies.
Finally, children and other people affected by hearing loss due to meningitis can have cochlear implants or hearing aids installed, allowing them to restore their hearing to some extent. Unfortunately, in some cases, especially when meningitis strikes one at a very young age, it can take both the sense of hearing and the sense of vision from a person permanently.
All in all, meningitis is a very dangerous disease which should be treated timely in order to prevent complications which can even result in death.