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Hearing loss



Hearing Loss: why does it happen?

  Hearing loss is defined as partial or total inability to hear sound in one or both ears. It is always a frustrating condition often associated with aging, although many other factors can cause it.

 In general terms, there are two main types of hearing loss, depending on which part of the ear is affected: 1) conductive hearing loss, due to defective sound conduction through the external ear (ear canal) and/or the middle ear (eardrum and auditory ossicles); 2) sensory-neural hearing loss, due to a damage to the inner ear (containing the hearing sensory cells) or the acoustic nerve.

 Conductive hearing loss is usually caused by external or middle ear infection, eardrum perforation, earwax blockage or presence of a foreign body in the ear, while sensory-neural hearing loss (which is always a permanent loss) may be the result of many various conditions, including genetic syndromes, birth injury, certain medications, tumors, head trauma, aging and prolonged exposure to loud noises.

Hearing Loss: reduced perception of sounds

 Regardless of the type of hearing loss, symptoms always include a reduced perception of sounds, the inability to hear faint sounds and sometimes a reduced speech understanding. These symptoms often result in decreased quality of life, which in turn can lead to anxiety and/or depression.

 Fortunately hearing loss is a potentially treatable (and sometimes curable) condition. When hearing loss is caused by ear infection, earwax blockage or presence or foreign bodies in the ear, the removal of the cause is usually enough to restore hearing ability. In these cases, therefore, the condition is reversible.

 On the contrary, hearing loss caused by a damage to the inner ear is always permanent and irreversible and can be treated only with the use of hearing aids or, in the most severe cases, cochlear implants. Hearing aids are small electronic devices (to wear in or behind the ear) that amplify sounds and direct them into the ear canal, thereby making sounds louder and allowing the patient to hear more and easier.

 However, when hearing loss is particularly severe, hearing aids are not enough and cochlear implants can be considered. Cochlear implants are complex electronic devices that replace the function of the damaged sensory cells in the inner ear, by directly stimulating the acoustic nerve. Cochlear implants never restore normal hear function; however they can help provide a sense of sound to patients with profoundly impaired hearing.   

 Due to the cost of hearing loss treatment, which can place a great financial burden on patients and/or their families, it is advisable that people with this condition are covered by appropriate health insurance. 

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Medical insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Healthcare plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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