Otorhinolaryngological Diseases
Hearing Loss

​​​​Overview:

  • Hearing loss is usually defined as inability to hear and understand speech, and audiologists generally distinguish between hearing loss and impairment.
  • Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears and most common in the elderly.
  • Hearing loss can either be congenital or acquired.
  • Some people don’t realize that they have a hearing problem, it may be noticed by others. 
  • Avoiding loud noises and reducing the amount of time you are exposed to them is the most important method of prevention. 
Introduction:
Hearing loss can happen any time during life from before birth to adulthood. The elderly are the most vulnerable group, and hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound, and deafness indicates profound hearing loss.

Types:
  • Conductive hearing loss: It is caused by something that stops sounds from getting through the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss can often be treated with medicine or surgery.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: it happens after inner ear damage and often cannot be treated with surgery or medication. 
  • Mixed hearing loss: is caused by a combination of conductive damage in the outer or middle ear and sensorineural damage in the inner ear. 
Other Names:
Deafness, Hard of hearing

Cause:
​Congenital causes
Acquired causes

Birth asphyxia.
Low birth weight.
Maternal rubella, syphilis or certain other infections during pregnancy. 
Severe jaundice, which affects some newborns.
Use of cytotoxic drugs during pregnancy, such as aminoglycosides.


Infectious diseases such as measles. 
Middle ear infection.
Chronic ear infections.
Injury to the head or ear.
Exposure to loud sounds. 
Ageing.
Excessive earwax.   


Risk Factors:
  • Heredity.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Head trauma.
  • Exposure to loud sounds. 
  • Use of certain medicines. 
Symptoms:
It can be hard to tell if you're losing your hearing. Other people may notice it before you do. The early symptoms of hearing loss include: 
  • Difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places. 
  • You ask others to repeat, or speak more slowly, clearly or loudly.
  • Listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need. 
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone. 
  • Skip a conversation. 
  • Feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening. 
Signs of hearing loss in one ear:
The hearing is worse when sound comes from one side.
All sounds seem generally quieter than usual. 
It is hard to tell where sound is coming from.
Difficulty ignoring background noise or telling different sounds apart.
Difficulty understanding speech.
Difficulty hearing in noisy places or over long distances. 
It's not always easy to tell if you've lost hearing in one ear, as you may still be able to hear with your other ear.

When to see a doctor?
When noticing any hearing problems, and not waiting for the symptoms of hearing loss to appear.

Diagnosis: 
Your GP will look inside your ears using a small handheld torch. They can also do some simple checks of your hearing. If needed, they can refer you to a specialist for more hearing tests.

Treatment:
Hearing loss varies between mild and severe. People with mild hearing loss can use hearing aids, while those with severe hearing loss can be treated by cochlear implant.

Prevention:
Avoid too much noise.
Reduce the sound of the TV or earphones.
Be careful while in noisy places, such as: concerts and sport events. 
Stay away from loudspeakers. 
Take a break from the noise every 15 minutes. 
Use earplugs to reduce sounds. 
Check your hearing regularly. 

FAQ:
- Is there a regular hearing test?
It is adviced to do the hearing tests regularly, especially in the following cases:
  • If you have a family history of hearing loss not associated with noise exposure.
  • If you work in a noisy environment.
  • If you engage in noisy activities or hobbies, and
  • If you take medicines that place you at greater risk for hearing loss such as: certain antibiotics and cancer treatment drugs.

Clinical Education General Department
For inquiries, contact us by email.








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