Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can affect anybody, from a new born baby to somebody celebrating their 100th birthday and anybody in between. About 3 out of every 1,000 new born babies are born with some form of hearing impairment; which makes it one of the most common birth defects in the world.

Hearing loss means something inside the ear isn't working correctly, or as well as it should be. Some people may also use the words deaf, deafness, or hard of hearing when they are referring to hearing loss. By and large, this community prefers to be referred to as either "deaf" or "hard of hearing".
To properly understand how and why hearing loss happens you really have to know how the ear works. There are various types of hearing loss and many different causes for it. Some people are afflicted with hearing loss at birth and some people are stricken with it after birth. Hearing loss, commonly known as hearing impairment, occurs when there is a problem with one or more parts a person's ear or ears. A person who suffers from hearing loss or hearing impairment may be able to hear some sounds or hardly any sounds at all.

Hearing loss can be caused by such things as illness and injury and it can also be hereditary. It can also be permanent or temporary. Hearing loss can be caused by serious infections of the middle ear - such as meningitis - or from maternal diabetes, lack of oxygen and head injuries. Listening to very loud music, especially through headphones, and exposure to loud or repetitive sounds such as machinery, airplanes, gunshots, etc. can be responsible for hearing loss later in life.

There are a few different types of hearing loss including conductive, sensory, mixed (conductive and sensory combined), and neural. Each type of hearing loss also has secondary categories - such as otitis media and ostosclerosis in conductive hearing loss.

One of the hardest elements of dealing with hearing loss is finding out that you or a family member may have it. You should have your hearing checked regularly to see if everything is working properly. Temporary hearing loss can often be cured by surgery or medication but permanent hearing loss means you will have to wear hearing aids.

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