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Hearing Loss Symptoms, Reasons, Causes & Effects

Hearing loss is the condition in which a person cannot detect the sound frequencies which can be heard by normal people. A healthy ear can process sound frequencies from 20Hz to about 20,000 Hz. For speech, the frequencies range between 500 Hz and 4000Hz. Most people who have a hearing loss cannot pick up the speech frequency. There are two types of hearing loss, namely, conductive hearing and sensorineural hearing loss.

Causes

One of the most common causes of hearing loss is ear infections. An ear infection often causes discharge of fluids in the ear, which sometimes remain in the ear long after the infection has subsided. Other causes for ear infection are congenital factors such as birth defects, genetic syndromes, and infections passed on from the mother to the child.

Reasons

There are two main hearing loss reasons. Conductive hearing loss is caused by ear canal blockage. The eardrum, outer ear, and the middle ear bones are affected by conductive hearing loss. A few of the symptoms associated with conductive hearing loss include turning up the volume of radio or television sets, inability to hear properly on the phone or a feeling of persistent ear blockage. 

Sensorineural hearing loss refers to a damage of the inner era or cochlea. Some of the ailments associated with sensorineural hearing loss are acoustic trauma excessive exposure to loud noise, barotraumas generally affects divers, and head trauma. 

Symptoms

Hearing loss may be sudden or gradual. A sudden hearing loss is often caused by blood circulation problems in the body. Hearing loss can be minor or severe. A severe hearing loss often results in deafness. Hearing loss can be in one ear unilateral or in both ears bilateral. Some other symptoms of hearing loss include pain in the ear, fever, and drainage from either of the ears.

Effects

Hearing loss can be a major handicap for a person. Besides being forced to lead a confined life or dependant life, it may create significant psychological and emotional impact. Some of the physical effects of hearing loss include fatigue, headache, sleeping discomfort, stomach ailments, and eating problems. People suffering from minor hearing loss often have problems in picking up sentences and words which have speech sounds such as "f" , "sh" , "s", "k" and "t" .

Children with hearing loss get severely handicapped as well. They would have difficulty in learning vocabulary or speaking. A person suffering from hearing loss does not suffer independently because the people around suffer as well. They would find it increasingly difficult to interact with the person suffering from a hearing loss.