Symptoms and problems of hearing loss

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Hearing problems mean for the sufferer a separation from the world around them, making them more vulnerable and unhappy, as well as making it difficult to communicate with the people around them. The medical term used to refer to hearing impairment is hypoacusis, commonly referred to as deafness.

What is hearing loss?

When we say that someone suffers from hypoacusis, it means that he or she has difficulty perceiving certain sounds, which significantly reduces his or her quality of life. Some problems related to hypoacusis can be overcome if treated in time.

The symptoms of hypoacusis affect the lives of people who suffer from it in different areas, causing various problems that can be reduced or even reversed, depending on the type of hypoacusis, with the appropriate treatment. 

Symptoms of hearing loss

Knowing how to identify the symptoms of hearing loss can help prevention, even more so when it comes to children. Some of them are:

  • Hearing loss in one ear
  • Neurological abnormalitiesdifficulty in chewing or speaking, numbness of the face, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Ear paincongestion, congestion, ringing (tinnitus), or discharge
  • Affecting the balancewhich manifests with disorientation in the dark or sensation of movement, dizziness or vertigo. 
  • Headache, impairment of the sense of taste and facial weakening 
  • In children, the following are present delays in speech or language development. It can also affect motor development

Hearing loss problems

According to the report WHO's "Deafness and hearing loss", When people have such symptoms they can present problems such as functional, social, economic and emotional problems.

The problems of hearing loss at the functional level affect the day-to-day life of the person with hearing loss. These are the problems related to the difficulty in the development of language and the relationship of the affected person with the professional and academic environment.

Other functional problems include vertigo, tiredness, headache, muscle tension, poor performance in sports, poor diet and/or sleep, increased blood pressure, stomach problems and sexual problems.

Emotional and psychological problems of hearing loss

As they are unable to pick up sounds correctly and have language deficiencies, communication is also affected. As a result, people with hearing loss feel alone and excluded, which leads to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, stress and frustration at not being able to lead a normal life. 

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Functional hearing loss affects the daily life of the person with hearing loss.

Social problems of hearing loss 

Low self-esteem and frustration generate other problems such as communication problems with partners, friends and family. Hearing loss also affects socialization and work relationships.

Types of hearing loss

In order to understand the limitations that hearing loss causes to people who suffer from it, it is important to know the different types of hearing loss, since they give rise to different problems, symptoms and treatments.

It is determined that the person suffers from hypoacusis when he/she does not have normal hearing capacity, that is to say, when the onset of hearing in both ears is equal to or greater than 25 dB.

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Hearing loss occurs when the onset of hearing is 25 dB in both ears.

In the same vein, deaf people suffer from profound hearing loss, i.e. they hear very little or not at all. They often communicate by means of sign language.

The known types of hearing loss are: 

Reversible hearing loss or conductive hearing loss

Occurs when sound waves do not pass into the inner ear because there is a limitation in the outer or middle ear. It is caused by problems such as middle ear infections (otitis media), benign tumors (cholesteatomas), perforated eardrums, trauma, and middle and outer ear malformations. It is also caused by fluid accumulation or abnormal bone growth, which can lead to a temporary or permanent hearing loss.

In most cases, it has treatment ranging from hearing aidshearing implants, surgeries or ear cleaning. 

Definite hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss

It occurs when the auditory nerve or cochlea is weakened by the loss of hair cells in the ear, making it impossible to process sounds so that they reach the brain. Among its causes are aging, due to genetic factors or poor hearing health care; blows to the head or ear, noise and rubella during pregnancy.

There is no cure, it is impossible to repair or replace the hair cells in the inner ear. However, hearing aids or hearing implants are of great help to sufferers.

Sudden hearing loss

Also called sudden hearing loss, or sudden or sudden sensorineural hearing loss. It appears after hearing loss greater than 30 dB, in less than three days. Generally, before it appears, the affected person may present with ringing or tinnitus, as one of the symptoms. In 2% of the cases, both ears are affected. In 55%, only the left ear is affected.

The causes of its appearance are viral infections, tumors, ototoxic drugs, blood circulation problems, blows to the head or ear that produce a perforated eardrum. Depending on the cause, it may be reversible or definitive. 

Prevention of hearing loss 

Hearing impairment caused by genetic factors cannot be prevented, since it is degenerative. In this case, early detection in these cases is essential, as this will allow the sufferer to comply with a treatment that will improve his quality of life.

According to the World Health Organization, half of all cases of hearing loss can be prevented by applying public health measures. Some prevention tips established by the organization are the following: 

  • Vaccinating children against diseasesespecially meningitis, measles, rubella and mumps.
  • Pregnant women should preventing cytomegalovirus infections through proper hygienic habits, as well as testing for and treatment of syphilis and other infections.
  • Vaccinate against rubella to adolescent girls and women of childbearing age before pregnancy 
  • Reducing exposure to loud noise at work and recreational activitiesThe use of personal protection devices such as earplugs and headphones that muffle environmental noise is also encouraged.
  • Apply tests for the detection of otitis children's media
  • Discontinue the use of some medications with high risk factors for hearing, unless prescribed and evaluated by a physician.

If you have hearing loss you should always put yourself in the hands of hearing specialists. Contact your trusted hearing center to receive an appropriate diagnosis for your hearing problem.

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