Types of hearing loss for dummies

Published: 04th March 2010
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A kid or a teenager has the same chances of getting hearing loss disorder as that of a grown man. Normally, a person may start to lose their sense of hearing in one of their ears first and gradually until it either stops or becomes complete deafness. In the wrong circumstances, people can lose their sense of hearing completely and indefinitely too.

When slight hearing problems occur regularly or once in a while, in both cases the best measure to take is to see a doctor about it. A doctor will first try to determine where the hearing disorder is originating from so as to get a better understanding of the problem. After defining what the problem is can a suitable hearing treatment be used to treat the person affected.

A lot of different kinds of hearing loss can affect a person and just mentioning loss of hearing is not enough. Hearing loss where the affected area is the inner ear and hearing loss where the affected area are the nerves are two different things. As mentioned, hearing loss in some cases are simple and easily treated while others are not so easy to correct.

When a person has a problem of funneling sound from the outer and middle ear to the inner ear, then this is called conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss covers all parts of sound transmission from the funneling of sound from the outer ear and into the inner ear. A doctor can simply prescribe medicine and in some more serious cases surgery and if all else fails the use of hearing aids should suffice.

Sensorineural hearing loss is a hearing disorder that is very complex and is at present still untreatable by modern medicinal technology. Sensorineural hearing disorders is also the product of inner ear disfunctions that may or may not originate since birth due to genetic abnormalities. The inner ear holds some of the most important parts of the human body, like the cochlea which stores nerves that carry auditory signals to the brain.

Central hearing loss is a term many people are not familiar with but simply means hearing problems caused by the central nervous system. People affected with this type of problem can hear perfectly well but have trouble interpreting or understanding what is being said or basically filter out many competing auditory signals at once. As of writing, there is still no effective treatment for this kind of disorder other than controlling the environment.

Aside from the above types there is what is called functional hearing loss, which is a psychological or emotional disorder rather than a physical abnormality. It may be out of this world, but something in the person's mind is blocking and making the person not hear things, all the while having normal hearing. The challenge with this disorder is being able to detect it, as mistaking it for another disorder will do no good.

The term mixed hearing loss is given to a person who has in one ear both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural. With mixed hearing loss, there are many effective treatments for the conductive part. There is still not much that can be done with the sensorineural problem.

Ask anyone who has hearing problems and they will be the first to tell you hearing loss can change your life. Even though technology is moving at break neck speeds, there still isn't any sign of an effective treatment let alone a cure. An annual full body checkup should be performed to avoid problems not just in connection to hearing but in totality.

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