Have you ever thought that deafness or hearing impairment is quite a rare condition found among people? Shockingly, according to the World Health Organization, a total of 5% of the world’s population is affected by issues such as deafness and hearing loss.
Apart from that, when the age increases, the issues with the auditory system worsen further, increasing the affected population to as large as 25%.
In this article, we will discuss in detail deafness and hearing loss, the differences between them, their types, and the symptoms by which you may identify them.
What Is The Difference?
Before moving to the types of deafness and symptoms, you need to distinguish between these two conditions. This understanding is crucial for you to identify which issues are bothering you or someone around you.
Hearing Loss is a condition in which a person who used to have decent auditory capacities loses the same, on account of various reasons. In such cases, when the sound is amplified, the affected individuals may hear and understand the speech or the certain audio message.
But when it comes to the case of deafness, the individual will not be able to hear, no matter how high the volume level is.
Types Of Hearing Losses
- Conductive hearing loss
In this type of hearing loss, the vibrations received from the surroundings experience a blockage from the outer ear to the inner ear. Since the vibrations are unable to reach the cochlea, there will be a significant reduction in the hearing capacities of the person. Causes such as ear wax buildup and defective eardrum may lead to conductive hearing loss.
- Sensorineural Haering Loss
This type of hearing loss may be caused due to the defects or dysfunctions of the organs such as the inner ear, cochlea, auditory nerve, or even the brain itself. The hair cells found inside the cochlea are crucial to make the hearing possible. When people approach old age or progress through their middle ages, it is highly likely that these hair cells get damaged and affect their hearing capacities.
- Mixed hearing loss
This is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. If you are someone who has undergone infections related to the ear for a considerably longer period, then it is highly likely for you to have this type of hair loss. People having mixed hearing loss may have a dysfunctional eardrum and ossicles. In some cases, surgical treatment can be suggested, but efficiency cannot be assured.
Types Of Deafness
- Prelingual Deafness
In this type of deafness, the child may develop deafness even before it starts to learn the mother tongue. In most cases, this type of deafness would be congenital. However, there are also cases in which deafness is formed during the infancy period. Providing these children with a cochlear implant before they hit the age of 4 can make a lot of positive difference in their ability to comprehend oral language.
- Postlingual deafness
This kind of deafness is the most common type found among the majority of the population. Just like the name of deafness suggests, it is developed after the period of language learning by the individual. Some kind of medication, traumas caused especially to the head, or even any unnoticed ear infections during childhood can become the reason behind this type of deafness.
- Unilateral and bilateral deafness
Unilateral deafness implies deafness caused just for a single ear while bilateral deafness is a condition in which deafness is affected by both ears. If you are a person with unilateral deafness, your auditory capacity will not be even on both sides and you may find it difficult to understand speech when the speaker is on your defective side.
Symptoms Of Hearing Loss
While deafness or hearing loss in adults can be easily identified, it may be difficult to identify the inabilities in children. If your infant is below 4 months, make sure they are turning their head to the side from a noise has been made. When your child stands behind fellow beings in oral communication at the toddler stage, you may suspect deafness or hearing loss in them.
Related Topic: What Are Some Common Diseases Of The Ear? Find Out!
So, now it would be clear for you to identify hearing loss and deafness separately and distinguish between both if you are given sample instances. This is not just a mere medical knowledge, but rather a piece of real-life skill, that may help you suspect, diagnose, and get treated without making a delay.