ABSTRACT – Deafness is the hearing impairment that is the loss in hearing either totally or partially Four levels...
Deafness is the hearing impairment that is the loss in hearing either totally or partially
Four levels of deafness are:
Mild deafness or mild hearing impairment
Moderate deafness or moderate hearing impairment
Medical conditions like Chicken pox, Diabetes etc.
Perinatal problems like Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and premature birth
Medications like aminoglycosides, platinum based chemotherapeutics etc
Teenagers exposed to second hand smoke
Chemicals and heavy metals like lead, toluene etc.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –
Doesn’t turn the head towards a noise before the age of 4 months
The infant doesn’t utter a word till their 12 months of age
Aware of certain sounds only
Doesn’t startle by a loud noise
Responds in people’s presence but doesn’t respond when the person is out of sight
In toddlers and children:
Slow learning of oral communication
Unclear utterances while speaking
Difficulty in understanding the communication
Trouble in using the phone
Difficulty in understanding speech under background noises
Increased volume required on television, radio etc.
Pain or pressure in ears
A blocked feeling in ears
Accompanying secondary symptoms can be:
Ringing or buzzing sound in ear
Vertigo and disequilibrium
Hyperacusis i.e. difficulty in sound perceptions
Tympanophonia, i.e., abnormal hearing of one’s own voice and respiratory sounds
General screening test
A tuning fork test
Bone oscillator test
The OtoAcoustic Emissions Test (OAE) for testing deafness in newborns
Laboratory testing for infection or inflammation in ears
MRI and CT scans
Treatment is given based on the cause and severity of deafness. Hearing loss due to age and noise is irreversible and progressive but some ways that can assist hearing are:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids
Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids
Bone conduction hearing aids
Workplace noise regulation
Screening test at different ages
Avoid listening to TV, radio etc. at higher volume
Use headphones to block external sounds
Wearing earplugs in concerts, motor racing etc.
Do not prod cotton swabs in ears
Around 10% of people suffer from hearing loss globally which is more higher in geriatrics.