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Hearing loss and Treatment

Stella Hearing | Việt Nam

                  1. Anatomy of The Ear

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        The ear is made up of three different sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. These parts work together so you can
        hear and process sounds.

        Sound waves are first collected in our outer ear (called the auricle or pinna), pass through our ear canal and cause our eardrum
        (tympanic membrane) to vibrate.

        These vibrations are in turn transmitted to our inner ear by the bones (ossicles) of our middle ear connected to eardrum. Our inner
        ear plays a vital role in the transformation of these mechanical vibrations into electrical impulses, or signals, which can be recognized
        and decoded by our brain. When the vibrations reach the cochlea through movement of the bones in the middle ear, the fluid within it
        begins to move, resulting in back and forth motion of tiny hairs (sensory receptors) lining the cochlea. This motion results in the hair
        cells sending a signal along the auditory nerve to the brain. Our brain receives these impulses in its hearing centers and interprets
        them as a type of sound.

                  2. What Cause Hearing Loss?

        Hearing loss comes when some part of the auditory systems got damaged.The most common causes of hearing impairment include
        some genetic, congenital, infectious, traumatic, toxic, occupational and age-related factors.

        Hearing impairment can be hereditary. Children of one or both deaf parents are at higher risk of developing this disorder.

        Some genetic conditions responsible for hearing impairment are osteogenesis imperfect, Cockayne syndrome, Hurler syndrome,
        Hunter syndrome, hereditary nephritis, etc.

        Hearing impairment is also due to some congenital factors such as premature birth, fetal iodine deficiency effects, use of ototoxic
        drugs, rubella, syphilis, jaundice and the conditions during the birth in which a baby lacks enough oxygen to breathe.

        Ear infection is one of the most common causes of hearing impairment. Middle ear infection (otitis media) causes swelling of inner
        lining of middle ear and accumulation of fluid. Another common ear infection leading to hearing loss is infection of ear canal (otitis
        externa or swimmer's ear). Some infectious diseases such as measles, meningitis and mumps can also lead to hearing impairment.

        Aging is the most significant cause of hearing impairment. It is also known as presbycusis. 50% of over 70 years old aged people
        suffer hearing loss, mild or severe. Age-related hearing loss is because of damage to hair cells within the cochlea, due to which
        electrical signals are not transmitted efficiently.

        Another common cause of hearing impairment is damage to ear from loud noises. Due to continuous exposure to extremely loud
        noises, a delicate structure of inner ear is injured, leading to hearing loss. People working in loud environment (such as nightclub or
        discotheque staff) are at greater risk of developing this problem.

        Use of ototoxic drugs such as some antibiotics and anti-malarial drugs can damage the cochlea. It causes hearing loss in any age.

        Traumatic injury such as skull fracture (temporal bone), traumatic perforation of eardrum, barotraumas (differences in pressure) and
        acoustic trauma such as fireworks, rock concerts, gunfire, explosions and earphones can lead to hearing impairment.

        Some common causes for temporary hearing loss are accumulation of wax in the ear canal, blocked Eustachian tubes, allergy, foreign
        body lodged in the ear canal, head injury and scarred or perforated eardrum.

                  3.Medical Treatment Or Hearing Aids

        A lot of people who noticed their hearing loss meet the question whether refer to medication or surgery or hearing aids

        The conductive hearing loss patient whose hearing loss is caused by a foreign body, cerumen or tumor in the ear canal or middle ear
        infection has to go to ENT doctor for removing foreign body or cerumen in the ear canal or for surgery. The patients who got chronic
        otitis media could restore hearing from surgery including tympanoplasty, myringoplasty, mastoidectomy only when their hearing loss
        is conductive.

        The conductive hearing loss patients caused by otosclerosis could restore hearing by stapedectomy. The mixed hearing loss patients
        who have got chronic otitis media or otosclerosis could restore hearing to some extent but not to normal level.

hearing loss



      Cochlear Implant
      If you have profound hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be an option for you. There has been considerable controversy over cochlear implants but some studies show that if implanted at a very young age, some profoundly impaired children can acquire effective hearing and speech, particularly if supported by appropriate rehabilitation such as auditory-verbal therapy. But a lot of audiologists are against the cochlea implants and prefer to wait till the Gene or Stem cell therapy will be available for treatment in near future.


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      Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy


      A 2008 study has shown that gene therapy targeting Atoh 1 can cause hair cell growth and attract neuronal processes in embryonic mice. And also stem cell therapy under clinical test stage shows that disabled part of human body could be restored. It is hoped that a similar treatment will one day ameliorate hearing loss in humans.
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