Deafness is defined as a decreased ability to perceive sounds. There are three types of deafness, one of which is age-related. What are its characteristics and causes?
Deafness is also called hearing loss or hearing loss. The impact on the quality of life of an adult is significant: isolation, reduction of intellectual functions due to lack of stimulation. In children, in the absence of care, disorders of language development are accompanied by deafness. Deafness is of three types:
- conductive hearing loss;
- sensorineural hearing loss;
- Age-related deafness or deafness.
There are four levels of deafness:
- Mild: 20 to 39 decibels of hearing loss.
- Medium: 40 to 69 dB hearing loss;
- severe: 70 to 89 dB hearing loss;
- Profound: More than 90 decibels of hearing loss.
What is conductive hearing loss?
It is the problem of transmitting the acoustic signal that is the root of conductive deafness. It can be located in the outer ear or the middle ear. The ear and the external auditory canal make up the outer ear. The eardrum consists of three bones, and the origin of the auditory nerve forms the middle ear.
The main causes of this type of deafness are:
- Mechanical obstruction: the external auditory canal is blocked by earwax or by a foreign body or fluid (during otitis media);
- defect from birth;
- consequences of trauma to the outer or middle ear;
- Otosclerosis: In this disease, the bones of the eardrum are defective.
What is sensorineural deafness?
It is the problem of converting the acoustic signal into nerve impulses that is the root of sensorineural deafness. This is located in the inner ear, and is also involved in a person’s balance. The main causes of this type of deafness are:
- Congenital deafness: detected at birth through newborn screening;
- Ménière’s disease: pressure increases in the inner ear, especially in the labyrinth. Symptoms of this disease include bouts of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
- Medications: some of them can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss;
- Exposure to loud noises: This is the main cause of deafness.
- As a result of trauma to the inner ear.
- Benign tumor of the auditory nerve.
- Infections: otitis media or meningitis that spreads to the inner ear, and mumps.
What is age-related deafness?
Age-related hearing loss is a natural and normal phenomenon of ear aging. From the age of 65, we lose 0.5 decibels each year. It is 1 decibel per year from age 75, then 2 decibels per year from age 85. In this type of deafness, the perception of high-pitched sounds is altered. The person hears, but does not always understand.