Hearing loss , deafness or hearing impairment is basically a sensory disorder that consists in the inability to hear sounds, a fact that hinders the development of speech, language and communication.
In fact, hearing loss has become one of the most common chronic problems, since it affects people of all ages, in all segments of the population and at all socioeconomic levels. And is that hearing loss affects about 17 out of every thousand children and / or young people under 18. In turn, the incidence increases with increasing age, so that 314 out of every thousand people over 65 suffer from hearing loss.
Causes of deafness
There are two basic causes that can cause deafness or hearing loss, genetic factors, that is, hereditary factors and environmental factors. However, about one third of people with deafness have not been diagnosed.
- Genetic causes: these are causes of a hereditary nature, and involve the appearance of deafness from the moment of delivery or progressively.
- Environmental causes: are the causes that are derived from an accident, trauma, illness, long-term exposure to noise or aggressive medications for the auditory nerve.
Prevention of deafness: is it possible?
As in many other diseases, the prevention of deafness, hearing loss or hearing loss is based on avoiding the risk factors that can cause it.. In those cases in which hearing loss is genetic, prevention is totally impossible, but its early detection, as well as the implementation of its possible solution or adaptation, always depending on the case.
In hypoacusis caused by infections or perforations of the eardrum, it is necessary to emphasize that when these processes appear, they must be treated accordingly according to the measures prescribed by the doctor, avoiding for example the submersion in the water or using plugs intended for that end
There are cases of hearing loss from work. In these cases, the measures of prevention of acoustic risks established have reduced its incidence.
In domestic settings, high volumes should be avoided in music devices with headphones, and also excessively noisy environments, thus promoting a healthy hearing hygiene.
It must also be borne in mind that there are numerous medications, such as anti-inflammatories or antibiotics that can be toxic to the ear, and this has to be assessed at the time of being prescribed to people with hearing disorders.
What progress has been made in the treatment of deafness in recent years?
It can be said that the most outstanding advances for deep sensorineural hearing loss are cochlear implants , which are composed of an internal part that is placed from a surgical intervention and an external part, similar to a large hearing aid.
For severe hearing loss, fully implantable devices are placed subcutaneously in the retroauricular area.. The main advantage of this choice compared to other more traditional devices that are imperceptible externally, offer a higher sound quality, decrease the level of feedback and the occlusion effect, while offering a better amplification of high frequencies.
For more information about deafness, its causes and possible solutions, consult a specialist in Otolaryngology .