Why is hearing loss so common
Recognize and understand hearing loss
How does hearing loss arise - and what different forms are there? All types and causes can be found clearly explained on this page. If you have any further questions, please give us a call or send us an e-mail. Studies show that people in Germany wait an average of seven years before taking action after the first onset of hearing problems. The hearing loss often develops slowly and is therefore not noticed for a long time. It pays to act quickly!
Not only that your own quality of life improves enormously with modern hearing aids. The effects of hearing loss can also be minimized if you take action early on. The exact treatment for hearing loss usually depends on how severe it is.
There are 3 types of hearing loss
Medicine basically differentiates between three types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Combined hearing loss
In addition, there is the so-called auditory processing and perception disorder (AVWS). All characteristics have one thing in common: They reduce hearing ability. This has a direct effect on your own quality of life. Conversations are becoming more and more exhausting, the television is playing louder and louder and noises we have come to love, such as the whispers of children or grandchildren, can suddenly no longer be heard.
Conductive hearing loss (conductive hearing loss)
With conductive hearing loss, the sound vibrations that your ear picks up are not transmitted to the intact inner ear due to a disorder in the outer or middle ear. The mechanical sound transport through the ear is impaired. The consequence: the hearing ability decreases. Above all, you no longer perceive language clearly. Hearing is harder on all frequencies.
A distinction is made between temporary and permanent conductive hearing loss. Temporary conductive hearing loss occurs, for example, when the ossicles are blocked after an otitis media. It can be remedied with medication or surgery. With permanent conductive hearing loss, the transmission of sound to the inner ear is permanently disturbed. This form of hearing loss can be completely or largely remedied if you increase the sound pressure with a hearing aid. Our audibene experts will be happy to advise you on the selection of the right hearing aid.
Causes of conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss can have many causes. In order to find the right therapy, it is important whether it is a temporary or permanent problem in the outer or inner ear. Temporary causes include an ear wax plug (cerumen obturans), a foreign body in the ear canal or an inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa). Permanent disorders are, for example, auricular malformations, malformations of the auditory canal, chronic middle ear infections or a hole in the eardrum. Otosclerosis - a disease of the bone that surrounds the inner ear - can also be the cause of permanent conductive hearing loss.
In the area of the oval window of the cochlea, the actual hearing organ in the inner ear, a bone forms and grows irregularly. As a result, the stirrup plate stiffens more and more and sounds are not properly transmitted.
Sensorineural hearing loss
In the case of sensorineural hearing loss, both the hearing organ with its sound-converting hair cells and nerve components only function to a limited extent. Damage to the inner ear prevents certain frequencies from reaching the brain. The result: You either do not perceive the overall sound or perceive it in a changed manner. Basically, one assumes a "different hearing", i.e. falsified speech understanding, because speech signals of high frequencies, e.g. the sounds p, k, f, h, s, sch, fail.
Similar sounding words, but also vows like a, e, i, o and u often lead to hearing defects. How you perceive volume is hardly changed with sensorineural hearing loss. Overall, this loss of hearing function can be successfully compensated for with a hearing aid.
This is what happens with sensorineural hearing loss
Basically, one assumes a "different hearing", i.e. falsified speech understanding, because speech signals of high frequencies, e.g. the sounds p, k, f, h, s, sch, fail. Similar sounding words, but also vows like a, e, i, o and u often lead to hearing defects. How you perceive volume is hardly changed with sensorineural hearing loss. Overall, this loss of hearing function can be successfully compensated for with a hearing aid. Sensorineural hearing loss can be triggered by:
- Damage to the inner ear from noise
- Sudden hearing loss
- Viral infections such as mumps, measles, and rubella
- Age degeneration (presbycusis)
- Genetic hearing loss
Combined hearing loss
This is what happens with combined hearing loss:
Combined hearing loss is made up of the two types of hearing loss that we have already mentioned: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear are damaged. How exactly this type of hearing loss affects your hearing depends on which hearing loss is more pronounced.
Which treatment method is considered depends on how severe the hearing loss is. Treatment with medication may be sufficient for mild or temporary hearing loss. From a moderate hearing loss, hearing aids are usually used.
In very severe cases of combined hearing loss, it may be necessary to have a bone conduction implant placed. The competent ENT doctor or hearing aid acoustician usually decides which treatment method is the right one in each individual case.
Combined hearing loss can have these causes:
Combined hearing loss can be caused by the involvement of the inner ear. In addition, the independent causes of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss (sensoneurinal hearing loss) come into consideration. Please note the previous points.
Auditory processing and perception disorder
An auditory processing and perception disorder means that heard information is not processed properly. The disorders affect the auditory nerve, which forwards the information to the cerebrum. In rare cases, the central nervous system is also affected. However, the outer ear is usually not affected.
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