According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 466 million people worldwide have hearing loss or deafness. There are many different causes of deafness. It can be a part of the aging process or it can also be due to weak nerves of the ear, loud noise, ear infection, exposure to toxins or injury. Some types of deafness can be cured. But most of them cannot be cured and we should be careful in preventing them.
What are the primary types of deafness?
Before we read further, we should know the types of deafness. There are 3 primary types of deafness.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Conductive Hearing Loss
- Mixed Hearing Loss
What are the common causes of deafness?
- The most common cause of hearing loss is due to aging.
- Chronic exposure to loud noises (such as listening to music at high volumes, noise pollution, or work-related noise)
- various health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes
- side effects of some medicines, such as aspirin and some antibiotics
- deafness due to genetics
Causes and treatment of deafness Read about in detail.
Let us understand the reasons better, so that we can take precautions.
As we grow old, our body parts also grow old. Our organs lose the ability to function at 100% efficiency. Our inner ear consists of thousands of tiny delicate hairs, these hair cells convert sound into signals that are transmitted to our brain with the help of the auditory nerves. Due to our increasing age, hair cells and nerves become weak, due to which the hearing capacity of our ears decreases. This type of deafness is called sensorineural deafness.
Although hearing loss due to aging is not in our control, we can take precautions to slow down the rate of hearing loss.
What precautions should we take to slow down age related deafness?
Our ears require nutritious food to function well. We should include food items that are rich in the following proteins, minerals and others.
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C & E
- Vitamin D
Other Nutrients and Supplements
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
What are other precautions to slow down the deafness?
When we feel that we are suffering from hearing loss, we should consult an audiologist. As there is no medicine to cure age related deafness, we must use hearing aids. A hearing aid will make convergence comfortable and avoid stress. Stress is also one of the main reasons for increasing deafness.
Does noise pollution cause deafness?
The damage caused to our ears by exposure to loud noise is the second biggest cause of hearing loss.
Noise level above 80 db is harmful to our ears. Let us find out about the noise level of household appliances and daily situations.
- hair dryer 70dB
- washing machine 78 dB
- Road traffic noise 85 – 90 dB
- truck 100dB
- Ambulance siren approx 120dB
If you are continuously listening to these sounds then the chances of hearing loss will increase.
How to protect yourself from noise induced deafness?
To save from deafness, we should take the following precautions.
- use earplugs or ear protection
- Follow the 60:60 rule – If you are a music lover, don’t listen to music at a volume setting above 60%. After listening continuously for 60 minutes, you should give rest to your ears.
- If you are a factory worker and the noise level is high, use ear plugs.
What is conductive deafness?
Conductive deafness is a type of deafness that prevents sound from traveling from the outer ear to the inner ear. In the vast majority of cases, conductive deafness is curable. The following are symptoms and causes of conductive deafness.
What are the symptoms of conductive deafness?
- earache or ear pain
- clogged ears or pressure
- bad ear odor
- unfamiliar sounds
What are the causes of conductive deafness?
- accumulation of wax in the ear
- obstruction by an external element or body
- waterborne infection
- malformation of the external ear
- hole in ear drum
What are the treatments for conductive deafness?
Deafness can be treated in the following ways:-
- If ear problem or deafness is due to some kind of infection, then it can be cured with medicines.
- If the deafness of the ear is due to the rupture of the ear drum, then it can be cured by surgery.
- Earwax can also sometimes cause hearing problems, so deafness can also be treated by removing earwax.
- Ear problems or deafness can also be reduced by using hearing aids.
- Surgery may be required if you have frequent ear infections.
- Conductive deafness can be cured provided immediate medical consultation is made, delay will complicate treatment.
Don’t be your own doctor. Some common medicines, such as aspirin available from chemists, can also cause deafness if taken in excess of the prescribed dose.
Other diseases that can cause deafness.
Some of the diseases which are given below are not directly related to our ears yet they can cause deafness.
- diabetes or diabetes Diabetes
- heart disease (Cardiac or Heart Disease)
- Thyroid Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD
- Influenza or Flu
- High blood pressure or Hypertension
We should take proper steps so that these diseases remain under control and there is no effect on our hearing power.
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