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Timely diagnosis and management of severe hearing loss may significantly improve your quality of life.
In this article, you'll learn the causes and types of severe hearing loss, and what signs to look out for so that you can get diagnosed as quickly as possible. If you lose hearing, either suddenly or over time, you'll have trouble making out the details of conversations. Often, people with severe hearing loss become socially withdrawn because they are embarrassed at having to ask family and friends to repeat themselves over and over again. Normal hearing is considered to be in the range of 0 to 20 dB -- which denotes the softest intensity where sound is heard.
Conductive hearing loss occurs from a problem in the ear canal, tympanic membrane (eardrum), or the middle ear that prevents sound from being carried effectively to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss most commonly results from damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, meaning that there may be a problem in the outer or middle ear, as well as in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. Hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the structures of the ear that process sound.
Loud noise. Exposure to loud noises -- for example, from power tools, airplanes, firearms, or from listening to loud music on a personal listening device -- can damage the hair cells in the cochlea.
Illnesses or infections. Measles, mumps, meningitis, and Meniere's disease are just a few of the conditions that can cause hearing loss. Malformed ear. Some people are born with poorly formed ear structures, which prevent them from hearing well. Trauma. Injuries such as a skull fracture or a punctured eardrum can cause severe hearing loss. Medications. Some types of drugs, including the aminoglycoside class of antibiotics (streptomycin, neomycin, kanamycin), large quantities of aspirin, chemotherapy drugs (cisplatin, carboplatin), Vicodin (in large quantities), macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin) can cause hearing loss. Genes. Scientists have identified certain genes that make people more susceptible to severe hearing loss, particularly age-related hearing loss. Please use the 'Report an Issue' button at the bottom of each page to let us know about inappropriate content or behavior. Researchers said there can be many contributing factors for the hearing loss, but the most common culprit might be excessive use of iPod, MP3 and other personal music players, used with ear buds inserted inside the ear. Researchers are not sure about the actual reason for increasing hearing loss problem in teens, but advised that it is a good idea to avoid the exposure to high volume and keep the voice of music low. In order to receive the proper treatment for hearing loss, our audiologists need to perform certain tests, evaluate your symptoms, and review your medical history. The 3 bones form a chain; they are called the anvil (or incus), the stirrup (or stapes), and the hammer (or malleus).
The 3rd bone in the chain (the stapes), will interface with fluid that fills the hearing portion of the inner ear (called the cochlea). Conductive hearing loss: This hearing impairment occurs when the transmission of sound from the environment to the inner ear is impaired. Sensorineural hearing loss: This hearing impairment occurs because of abnormalities in the inner ear or the auditory division of the 8th cranial nerve. If fluid sits in the middle ear for weeks at a time, otitis media with effusion will occur. We will start out by talking about the Eustachian tube— a narrow channel which connects the inside of the ear to the back of the throat.
When a ear is healthy, the fluid will drain down in the Eustachian tube, which gets assisted by the tiny hair cells, and gets swallowed.
However, when the Eustachian tube fails to do its job, a patient may experience an ear infection. Children have Eustachian tubes that are much shorter, more horizontal, and straighter than adult’s Eustachian tubes. These 3 factors also make it harder for the ears to clear the fluid since it cannot drain with the help of gravity. The child’s Eustachian tubes are also floppier, which creates a smaller opening that easily clogs. When patients have been diagnosed with a middle ear infection or if they have fluid, they also experience some degree of hearing loss.
If a patient has fluid in his or her ears, they can expect a hearing loss of an average of 24 decibels. If a patient has thicker fluid in his or her ears, they can expect greater hearing loss of up to 45 decibels.


Patients often wonder whether a hearing test should be performed when it is related to frequent infections or fluid. Hearing tests should be performed for children who: experience frequent ear infections, have fluid in the middle ear for more than 3 months, or experience hearing loss that lasts more than six weeks. Our audiologists typically use state-of-the-art medical devices (tympanometer, audiometer, otoscopy) to test your hearing, the flexibility of the ear drum, and the Eustachian tube function. If you would like to get your hearing tested and receive proper treatment, call Northeast Atlanta ENT today. Welcome to Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat , where we are committed to excellence in caring for our patients.
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If there is a problem in the outer or middle part of the ears, this affects the way sound is carried, or conducted, through to the inner ear and the rest of the auditory system. Hearing loss that results from damage to or disorders of the outer and middle ear is therefore referred to as conductive hearing loss. The most common cause of conductive hearing loss, which mainly affects children, is otitis media.
Sensorineural hearing loss is another type of hearing loss also known as SNHL or Sensor neural hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss is the type of hearing loss that conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss is in combination. Researchers used information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to study 126 adults ages 56 to 86 who had yearly MRI brain scans for up to a decade. Lin says the current theory is that hearing impairment doesn’t directly cause dementia but that it may exacerbate problems in brain function. Read the latest discoveries, exercise and memory-sharpening tips, health care reform and more! AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives. As soon as you start experiencing the signs of hearing loss, see your doctor for an evaluation.
People with hearing loss also withdraw from others because they are afraid of misunderstanding the conversation and answering with inappropriate or embarrassing comments. Doctors determine the degree of hearing loss by looking at the range of decibels (dB) -- a measure of sound intensity -- you can hear. People with normal hearing are able to discern sounds as faint as human breathing, which measures about 10 dB. That problem can be caused by an ear infection, tumor, or fluid or an object (such as wax buildup) in the ear.
Other potential causes include damage to the 8th nerve (the nerve for hearing) or the brain. Mixed hearing loss can be caused by a head injury, chronic infection, or an inherited disorder.
They travel through your inner ear to a shell-shaped tube called the cochlea, which is filled with fluid. Hearing impairment severity depends on the loudness of the sound and the length of the exposure. Earwax -- the thick, sticky substance that normally prevents bacteria and other foreign substances from entering the ear -- can sometimes build up and harden in the ear, decreasing the ability to hear.
Sometimes these effects are temporary and hearing will return once you stop taking the drug, but in most cases the hearing loss is permanent. Don't post any information, articles, and ideas that are not your own without providing the source (this is very important and can get you banned). Josef Shargorodsky, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital led the study. The outer ear, which is the part of the ear you can visibly see, will pick up the sound waves, and then direct them into the outer ear canal.
The movement of the 3 bones will transmit and amplify the sound waves toward the inner ear. It can become impaired because of an abnormality of the external auditory canal or the middle ear.
Draining the fluid will help to prevent build up and help to prevent the build up from bursting the thin ear drum.


We can schedule an appointment at either of our office locations— Johns Creek, GA or Lawrenceville, GA. However, in cases where medical or surgical intervention is not appropriate, individuals with conductive hearing loss may be managed with hearing aids, including such special devices as bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) or bone conductor hearing aids. A new study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore may provide an explanation: Older adults with hearing problems appear to have a greater rate of brain shrinkage as they age. Fifty-one showed some degree of hearing loss, mostly mild to moderate; these people might have trouble hearing in a restaurant, for example.
Mild hearing loss is in the range of 26 to 40 dB, and moderate hearing loss ranges from 41 to 55 dB.
This type of hearing loss is often caused by age-related changes to the nerves and sensory cells of the inner ear. If you experience a sudden hearing loss, you should see an ear, nose, and throat specialist as soon as possible. As the fluid moves, it sets in motion thousands of tiny hairs which convert the sound vibrations into nerve impulses.
However, if ear infections aren't treated, they can lead to more serious long-term problems. People who have a tumor might also experience numbness or weakness of the face and ringing in the ear. Actually, it is possible for the fluid to remain in the middle ear for a period of weeks to many months. The Eustachian tube maintains the middle ear pressure, which is equal to the air outside of the ear. It is characterized by the formation of soft, vascular bone leading to progressive conductive hearing loss.
It’s mostly permanent because sensorineural hearing loss’ is very hard to be cured by medicals or surgery. The researchers found that the brains of those with impaired hearing shrank faster than the brains of those with normal hearing, and that the atrophy was concentrated in the parts of the brain related to hearing. Those impulses are then sent to your brain where they are processed into sounds you can recognize. In addition, during the process of the air in the middle ear space escaping into the bloodstream, a partial vacuum is formed. Although it is usually easily treatable, the incidence of otitis media is significantly higher among Indigenous children, for whom it represents a serious health and educational issue. Lin is planning a large study to research just that question, but results won’t be in for several years.
People with severe hearing loss have trouble hearing speech, although they can make out loud sounds, like a truck that backfires or an airplane taking off. It is treated (if the fluid is in the middle ear) by draining the middle ear and inserting a tympanostomy tube. This vacuum will begin to absorb even more bacteria from the nose and mouth into the ear regions. As a result, sensorineural hearing loss may become evident due to the involvement of the cochlear duct.
Parents who have concerns about their child's responsiveness to sound, language development, or behaviour should talk to their doctor. Also it’s known that some drugs are making toxic effect and creating sensorineural hearing loss.
There are lots of researches why depression is causing hearing impairment and it’s known that depression in every age may cause hearing loss. This will prevent germs (residing in the mouth and nose) from entering into the middle ear.
Living troubles on understanding what people say in standard sound is the most known symptom.
Also listening TV on higher than normal volume continuously and depression based hearing loss are the main symptoms of hearing impartibility. Some deep head traumas may cause sensorineural hearing loss and also rarely but aging may cause it.



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