You may have heard of someone you know suffering from hearing loss. But, what is the definition of hearing loss. Hearing loss is defined as the reduction in a person's ability to distinguish sound. Hearing loss can be partial or total and it can affect one ear or both ears.
However, the definition of hearing loss by a doctor will most probably be given as conductive or sensory hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs due to damage to the external ear or the middle ear and this does not allow sound to pass through the ear canal to the ear drum. Sensory hearing loss occurs in the inner ear and the auditory nerve. In this type of hearing loss, the sound travels to the inner ear but is not transmitted to the brain.
Hearing loss can occur due to many reasons. The external ear can get blocked with ear wax, foreign object, tumor or infection. The blockage, depending on the type it is, can stop all or some sounds from passing through the ear canal to the inner ear.
Middle ear problems can also lead to hearing loss. If the ear drum or the ossicles are damaged due to infection or a sharp object, hearing loss occurs. Sometimes, this damage can occur due to injury to the head or high pressure. Usually when infection is the culprit, there can be fluid accumulation that comes from the throat via the Eustachian tube. At times the ossicles are abnormally formed leading to a condition called otosclerosis and this condition prevents the ossicles from vibration correctly to allow sounds to travel to the ear drum.Usually when people have a problem with the inner ear, it leads to sensory hearing loss. The most common cause of sensory hearing loss is loud noise. In addition, sensory hearing loss occurs due to aging, infection of the inner ear and brain, or taking certain antibiotics.
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