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Hearing loss - Research Paper Example

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economy incurs $56 billion loss in medical care, special education, and productivity due to untreated hearing loss (NAAS, 1999). Over 10 million Americans reported that they experience difficulty in hearing conversation at normal levels…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper explores the causes of, and diagnosis and available treatment for hearing loss. The types of hearing loss and their impact on the well-being of persons with hearing impairment, as well as on the society, are highlighted.
The cause of hearing loss or etiology can be readily apparent like an ear infection or amassing of ear wax in the external ear canal and can also be indefinite such as in the cases of non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss (Connelly, 2005). Generally, the major causes of hearing loss include excessive noise, ototoxic reaction to drugs, aging, genetic inheritance or birth defects, infections, and head or ear injury. Exposure to harmful noise causes damage to sensitive inner ear structures, called hair cells, leading to noised-induced hearing loss. Hair cells are small sensory cells that are responsible for the conversion of sounds into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain for perception. Once damaged, hair cells can hardly grow back, making loss of hearing permanent.
Both the decibel levels of and one’s distance to sounds are equally crucial in determining the potential risks for noise-induced hearing loss. Repeated exposure to sounds at or higher than 85 decibels can impair hearing while a one-time exposure to a much intense sound like explosion can result in hearing loss (NIDCD, 2008). Meanwhile, chemotherapy drugs and radiation employed for the treatment of childhood cancer induce damage to hearing. High doses of radiation may result in ear wax build-up or inflammation in the outer ear, stiffness of eardrum or middle ear bones, or fluid build-up in the middle ear, which can lead to hearing loss (Landier and Ruccione, 2008). Further, radiation can induce damage to the inner ear’s hair cells, resulting in a sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss due to viral and bacterial infections such as in syphilis, toxoplasmosis, mumps, bacterial ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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