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Deafness And Hearing Loss: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

deafness-and-hearing-loss-causes-symptoms-and-treatment

What Is Hearing Loss And Deafness?

Hearing loss occurs if a person is not having normal hearing, i.e. hearing threshold of 20dB or more. Hearing loss or deafness can involve one or both ears. It can be mild, moderate, moderately severe, and profound or severe. Through this article, we will know the causes, symptoms, and role of homeopathy in the treatment of hearing loss.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hearing Loss?

These are: –

  • Muffling of sound and speech
  • Difficulty in comprehending words, especially against a noisy background.
  • Difficulty in hearing consonants
  • Often asking other people to speak more clearly, slowly and loudly
  • Facing the need to turn up the volume of radio or television
  • Withdrawal from conversation
  • Withdrawal from social settings

What Are The Causes Of Hearing Loss?

The ear is the organ of hearing. It has three parts i.e. the outer, middle, and inner ear that translate the sound waves into electrical signals which are then transmitted to the brain. The respective part of the brain then converts the electrical signals into sound.

Causes of deafness include the following: –

  • Inner ear damage– Exposure to loud sounds and aging causes damage to the tiny hairs attached to the nerve cells present in the inner ear. These nerve cells are responsible to convert sound waves into electrical signals. When these nerve cells are missing or get damaged the electrical signals are not transmitted efficiently resulting in hearing loss, particularly against noisy background.
  • Earwax build-up over time– Earwax build-up can block and obstruct the conduction of sound waves through the ear canal. 
  • Ear infection or bone tumours or abnormal bone growth– Any infection in the outer or middle ear can lead to hearing loss.
  • Tympanic membrane perforation or rupture of the eardrum– Pricking eardrum which is present in the middle ear with pointed objects, sudden pressure changes, blasts of loud noise, and infection can cause the eardrum to rupture leading to hearing loss.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Hearing Loss?

Factors that can damage the nerve cells and attached tiny hairs on it in the inner ear are: –

  • Aging– In this over time the inner ear structure shows degeneration.
  • Loud noise– Short blast of loud noise or prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage the inner ear.
  • Heredity– Faulty genes can make a person susceptible to ear damage.
  • Occupational noises– Farming, factory, or construction work which involve loud noise can lead to inner ear damage.
  • Certain medications– Certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs can damage the inner ear. Temporary side effects on hearing such as tinnitus or ringing in the ear or hearing loss can occur if one takes very high doses of painkillers, antimalarial drugs, aspirin, or diuretics.
  • Certain illnesses that result in high fever such as meningitis can damage the inner ear.

 What Are The Complications Of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss and deafness can adversely affect the quality of life. As hearing loss makes it difficult to engage in conversation such people tend to show social withdrawal leading to isolation and even feeling of depression.

Deafness is also associated with decline in memory and cognitive impairment in the affected individual. 

What Are The Steps To Prevent Hearing Loss?

There are some steps that can help to prevent hearing loss which can be noise induced and also that can avoid deterioration of age related deafness. These are: –

  • Protect ears from noise– In this it is advised to restrict the intensity and duration of exposure to noise. For this one can use glycerine- filled earmuffs or plastic earplugs.
  • Regular hearing tests– In this one should go for regular hearing tests especially for those who work in noisy environment. If one is detected with hearing loss in these tests one can timely take steps to avoid further hearing loss. 
  • Avoid activities that involve risk of hearing loss– Certain recreational activities like hunting, listening to rock concerts, using power tools or riding a snowmobile can lead to hearing loss over time. One should avoid such activities or use hearing protectors, take break from the noise or turn down the sound volume to avoid damage to ears. 

What Are The Diagnostic Tools For Deafness And Hearing Loss?

Diagnostic tests and tools for hearing loss include: –

  • General screening test
  • App based hearing tests
  • Tuning fork tests
  • Audiometer tests

What Is The Treatment Of Hearing Loss In Homeopathy?

Treatment of hearing loss depends on the cause and severity of the problem.

  • Removal of ear canal blockage due to ear wax with the help of tools by the specialist.
  • Surgery for hearing loss due to abnormalities of the bones of hearing or the eardrum.
  • Use of hearing aids in cases of hearing loss due to inner ear damage.
  • Cochlear implants- They are recommended in cases of severe hearing loss when hearing aids are not effective. 

Homeopathy has a significant role to play in the hearing loss which takes place due to repeated ear infections and even ear tumours. Best homeopathic medicine to treat hearing loss is the constitutional homeopathic medicine that can stimulate the immune system of the body to fight and prevent such infections. For this a trained homeopathic physician takes a detailed case history of the patient and tries to elicit relevant information from both mental and physical sphere.

Common homeopathic medicines for deafness are: –

  • Belladonna– In this there is severe throbbing pain in the ear with redness and swelling. The patient may feel worse on touching the affected area, in the noon and from noise and there is relief while sitting in semi-erect position.
  • Chenopodium Anthelminticum– It is indicated in patients who have Meniere’s disease with tinnitus, vertigo, enlarged tonsils, and better hearing of high-pitched sounds.
  • Kalium Muriaticum– It is indicated when there is chronic inflammation of the middle ear with swelling and pain in the area around the outer ear and noises in the ear. The patient as a person may have indigestion due to fatty food.
  • Verbascum Thapsus– It is indicated for ear pain, scaly ear canal, repeated ear infections, hoarseness, and a sense of obstruction in the ear. The pain increased from 9 am- 4 pm, with sneezing and a change of temperature. 

CONCLUSION

Hearing loss occurs if a person is not having normal hearing, i.e. hearing threshold of 20dB or more. Aging,  exposure to short blast of loud noise or prolonged exposure to loud noise,  heredity, occupational noises, certain medications such as antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, very high doses of pain killers, antimalarial drugs, aspirin or diuretics as well as certain illnesses that result in high fever such as meningitis can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. As hearing loss and deafness can adversely affect the quality of life of an individual, its prevention as well as appropriate treatment becomes essential. For prevention one must avoid activities such as hunting, riding snowmobiles that cause exposure to loud noise as well as protect ears from noise exposure by wearing earmuffs or earplugs. Treatment of hearing loss depends on the cause and severity of the problem.

Homeopathy has a special role to play in hearing loss cases due to repeated ear infections or even some cases of ear tumours. For treatment it is advisable to refer to a trained homeopathic physician rather than self- drugging at home.

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