New Telegraph

Hearing Impairment

The scene

A Yoruba Nollywood actress fondly referred to as ‘’no network’’ elicits a spinning laughter when she is immersed in her thespian role. It is essentially that of someone that is hard of hearing, someone that echoes and acts ‘’go’’ when ‘’come’’ was the actual instruction…always hearing and carrying out the contrary. As funny as her role seems, it’s actually a portrayal of a very disturbing condition.

What it is

This is a reduced ability to hear sounds in the same way as other people.

• Mild hearing loss: One-on-one conversations are fine, but it’s hard to catch every word when there’s background noise.

• Moderate hearing loss: You often need to ask people to repeat themselves during conversations in person and on the phone.

• Severe hearing loss: Following a conversation is almost impossible unless you have a hearing aid.

• Profound hearing loss: You can’t hear when other people speaking, unless they are extremely loud. You can’t understand what they’re saying without a hearing aid. Deafness: This occurs when a person cannot understand speech through hearing, even when sound is amplified. Profound deafness: This refers to a total lack of hearing. An individual with profound deafness is unable to detect sound at all.

Types of hearing loss

Hearing loss is defined as one of three types:

• Conductive (involves outer or middle ear)

• Sensorineural (involves inner ear)

• Mixed (combination of the two)

The act of hearing

Sound waves enter the ear, move down the ear or auditory canal, and hit the ear- drum, which vibrates. The vibrations from the eardrum pass to three bones known as the ossicles in the middle ear. These ossicles amplify the vibrations, which are then picked up by small hair-like cells in the cochlea. These move as the vibrations hit them, and the movement data is sent through the auditory nerve to the brain. The brain processes the data, which a person with functional hearing will interpret as sound.

Causes of hearing impairment

• Damage to the inner ear. Aging and exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea (the sense organ that translates sound into nerve impulses to be sent to the brain). When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs. Higher pitched tones may become muffled to you. It may become difficult for you to pick out words against background noise.

• Gradual buildup of earwax. Earwax can block the ear canal and prevent conduction of sound waves. Earwax removal can help restore your hearing.

• Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumors. In the outer or middle ear, any of these can cause hearing loss.

• Ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane perforation). Loud blasts of noise, sudden changes in pressure, poking your eardrum with an object and infection can cause your eardrum to rupture and affect your hearing.

Risk factors

• Aging. Degeneration of inner ear structures occurs over time.

• Loud noise. Exposure to loud sounds can damage the cells of your inner ear. Damage can occur with long-term exposure to loud noises, or from a short blast of noise, such as from a gunshot.

• Heredity. Genetic makeup may make one more susceptible to ear damage from sound or deterioration from aging.

• Occupational noises. Jobs where loud noise is a regular part of the working environment, such as farming, construction or factory work, can lead to damage inside your ear.

• Recreational noises. Exposure to explosive noises, such as from firearms and jet engines, can cause immediate, permanent hearing loss. Other recreational activities with dangerously high noise levels include power biking, carpentry or listening to loud music.

• Some medications. Drugs such as the antibiotic gentamicin, sildenafil (Viagra) and certain chemotherapy drugs, can dam- age the inner ear. Temporary effects on your hearing — ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or hearing loss — can occur if you take very high doses of aspirin, other pain relievers, antimalarial drugs (chloroquine and qui- nine) or loop diuretics (drugs that rid the body of water)

• Some illnesses.Diseasesorillness- es that result in high fever, such as menin- gitis, may damage the cochlea. Symptoms In adults

• Have trouble following a conver- sation when more than one person speaks at once

• Thinkotherpeople aremumbling or not speaking clearly

• Oftenmisunderstandwhatothers say and respond inappropriately

• Get complaints that the TV is too loud

• Hear ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds in your ears, known as tinnitus

• High-pitched sounds, such as children’s and female voices,

• The sounds “S” and “F” become harderto make out. In infants

• Before the age of 4 months, the baby does not turn their head toward a noise.

• By the age of 12months,the baby still has not uttered a single word.

• The infant does not appear to be startled by a loud noise.

• The infantresponds to you when they can see you, butrespond farless or do notrespondat allwhenyouare out of sight and call out their name.

• The infantonlyseems tobe aware of certain sounds. In toddlers and children

• The child is behind others the same age in oral communication.

• The child keeps saying “What?” or”Pardon?”

• Thechildtalksinaveryloudvoice, and tends to produce louder-than-normal noises.

• When the child speaks, their utterances are not clear.

Read Previous

Dominican Republic 2024: Flamingos Conclude Dozen-Goal Rout of Car Girls

Read Next

StarTimes To Beam Eagles, Elephants Match Live