How does hearing occur?
Ear is composed of outer, middle and inner ear. All parts do their jobs to make hearing possible.
Outer ear collects and directs the sound to the ear drum.
Middle ear tranfers the sound to the inner ear, while doing that acts like a transformer.
Inner ear contains tiny nerve endings facing to the inner ear liquid. Vibrations of the liquid stimulates the nerve endings. These signals go to the brain where they are evaluated.
What are the types of hearing defficieny?
Outer and middle ear transforms, inner ear perceives the sound. Any problem causing outer and middle ear, conductive type hearing loss occurs. Any problem in inner ear causes neural type (sensorineural) hearing loss. If both inner and middle ear have a problem then mixed type hearing loss occurs.
Conductive type hearing loss: Block of outer ear, ear drum perforation, middle ear infections and ossicle problems can cause conductive type hearing loss. This type of hearing problems are mostly treatable.
Patient feels blocking of ear. His/her own voice is heard stroghly by himself/herself therefore they speak slowly. They hear better in crowded places. They hear bad sounds while chewing foods producing noise. Patient can talk with phone nicely in this type of hearing loss.
They never become totally deaf. Appropriate operation or hearing devices can help hearing.
Nerve type (sensorineural) hearing loss: Problems in cochlea, nerve endings, liquid problems in inner ear can cause this type of hearing loss. The most common cause is aging. This kind of hearing loss cannot be cured for the time being. Only hearing aids can help.
Patient can hear but cannot understand the words. Increasing the loudness does not increase understanding. In quiet places they can hear better. They have difficulty in understanding telephone speaking. They mostly hear low frequency tones better than high frequency tones. High frequency tones in rings, telephones are heard worse.
Hearing loss in one ear: This disturbs the perception of the place of the voice in space. Have difficulty if one talks to the hearing deficit ear.
Operation can be done in conductive type; hearing aids can help in both conductive and neural types.
Rehabilitation: To understand the degree of hearing loss ear doctor should examine and have necessary tests.
Treatment can be medical, surgical, combination or preventive methods. Every person who have hearing defficiency needs rehabilitation.