Differing Hearing Impairment
In recent years it has been found that 360 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, out of which 48 million people are Americans. Hearing loss is considered to be the third most common chronic condition in the United States of America. Considering the severity of the problem it is imperative to learn more about the different types of hearing loss that Americans are facing today.
People are constantly bombarded with noises on a daily basis. One of the most common type of hearing loss is noise-induced, which results from a continuous exposure to extremely loud noises for extensive periods of time. This type of hearing loss is gradual in nature and accumulates over time. However, sudden short bursts of loud noises can also lead to this type of hearing loss, such as noises from explosions, gunshots, etc. This type of hearing loss is common among hunters or those who practice target shooting. Other professions at risk include factory workers, construction employees, and musicians.
Hearing loss can also occur suddenly and develop over a short number of hours or days. These sorts of hearing losses often result from viral infections and can be treated by Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Specialists.
Another common type of hearing loss is congenital, which is hearing loss that is present since birth. Out of congenital hearing impairment, 50% of hearing loss can result from genetics while 25% can be a result of non-genetic factors. This particular category of hearing impairment can be detected earlier in babies due to laws that make it mandatory for infants to have their hearing tested before they are discharged from hospital after birth.
Hearing loss can result in both children and adults, and can occur in either both ears (bilateral) or in one ear (unilateral), which 3% of children of school age appear to suffer from. Certain types of hearing losses can be medically rectified, such as conductive hearing impairment, which is caused by a physical obstruction that impairs hearing such as ear-wax, problems with ear bones or damaged ear drums. Conductive hearing loss is more common in children. Another type of hearing loss is sensorineural, where damage is detected within the most interior section of the ear. This type of hearing difficulty is most widespread and can result from damage to the cochlea or fibers in the ear. This particular type of hearing impairment can only be rectified through the use of hearing instruments.
Varying degrees of damage can occur when it comes to hearing loss. Symmetrical hearing impairment occurs when both ears have similar degrees of hearing impairment, while asymmetrical hearing difficulties occur when the both ears have different levels of hearing capacities. This latter form of hearing loss depicts a medical anomaly which results in hearing loss in one ear, such as a virus or an abnormal growth inside the ear. People with asymmetrical hearing loss can be treated by an ENT specialist.
Hearing loss is a commonly-used term, but it is important to keep in mind that it comes in varying degrees of severity and curability. Some hearing problems can be treated by a medical professional while others require hearing aids. It is important to test your hearing professionally to help you gain the appropriate diagnosis for your hearing impairment and rectify your hearing loss in a timely manner.