Deafness is a physical condition in human beings which prevents a person from hearing sounds. As per the definitions provided by medical practitioners, deafness and hearing impairment are two separate ailments. The severity of deafness may vary from one patient to another significantly. People suffering from mild deafness face problems in understanding speech, particularly in noisy surroundings.
People who are the victims of moderate level of deafness may not be able to hear anything without using hearing aids. On the other hand, people with extreme level of deafness and hearing problem have to depend on lip-reading techniques apart from wearing hearing aid instruments. Since it causes hardship in communication, people suffering from this menace may feel isolated both socially and physically. They are also more vulnerable to accidents than others.
Deafness can happen to people belonging to different age groups. There are some babies who are born with this disability. However, the most familiar cause of deafness is ageing and an overwhelming majority of all the deaf people are past their 60s.
The human ear’s external part behaves like the trumpets and gathers sound waves; an internal organ named cochlea converts the mechanical sound waves to audible sound signals which are then registered by the brain. When a part of the hearing organs can not function properly or gets obstructed a person suffers from deafness and other associated hearing problems.
There are many reasons which can cause deafness and loss of hearing capabilities. The accumulation of ear wax can cause loss of hearing in a person. It can also happen as a side effect of medication. Some children inherit the ailment from their parents. Even an infection at some stage in pregnancy can make the child deaf. There are some diseases that can make a person deaf after the attack. One such ailment is Meningitis.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise can also lead to deafness. On an average 50% of the hearing-impaired people acquire it for being exposed to noisy environment. The increasing tendency among people to listen to personal media players at high volumes by using headphones is blamed as the main reason for deafness caused by loud sounds.
According to the medical community, hearing loss can be divided into four categories. The instances of sensorineural hearing loss are caused by damage to the inner ear’s sensitive cells and nerves. This may result in mild to severe hearing loss. At the same time this malaise also reduces a person’s capability to hear sounds of audible frequencies. Even the use of hearing aid equipments does not help people suffering from this syndrome much.
The conductive hearing loss is caused by ailments or blockages in the middle or outer ear. However, this does not have as severe implications as Sensorineural hearing loss. A person afflicted with this disease can use the hearing aids without much hassle.
The amalgamation of the aforesaid ailments is known as the mixed hearing loss. When the central nervous system is damaged it can lead to central hearing loss.
People suffering from deafness and hearing problems can use several helpful devices meant for them. The text telephones are made for their use. These devices allow the deaf people to send and receive text based messages using the telephone network.
Immunization against infections and evading exposure to loud noise diminishes the danger of contracting deafness. The ear passage needs to be cleaned periodically with caution to prevent ear wax from accumulating. The hearing aid instruments have also become much more sophisticated and powerful compared to the devices from the earlier years. However, it should be kept in mind that they can not cure deafness and do not have the same beneficial effect on everyone.Children who suffer from hearing problems require specialized education to overcome their difficulties. Such children should be made to undergo speech therapy and auditory training from specialists. Resorting to an interpreter for helping the deaf children with learning sign languages may prove to be effective.