Hearing loss is defined as a decrease in the sense of hearing.
It is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide with over 466 million people suffering
from disabling hearing loss.
It can be gradual onset or sudden can affect one ear or both ears.
It can also be mild moderate severe or profound. People with mild hearing loss can participate
in normal conversation, hard of hearing are people who have moderate to severe hearing loss
and would benefit from hearing aids and the deaf have profound hearing loss thus cannot
perceive any sound.
Causes of hearing loss can be congenital or acquired.
Congenital means present at birth or shortly after birth and can be from genetic factors or
complications encountered by the mother during pregnancy.
1. Infection s such as Rubella Toxoplasmosis, Syphilis
2. Low birth weight
3. Birth asphyxia
4. Drugs such as certain antibiotics. antimalarials ,anticancer drugs
5. Neonatal jaundice
6. Hereditary causes
Acquired causes occur at any age and include
1. Infections e.g. meningitis ,mumps
2. Chronic ear infections
4. Excessive noise
5. Wax impaction or presence of foreign bodies in the ear
7. Drugs such as some antibiotics, antimalarials, anticancer drugs
When one is unable to hear words clearly
Difficulty following conversation especially in a noisy environment
In children if there is a delay in development of speech
Social withdrawal due to poor or lack of communication skills
Most cases of hearing loss are irreversible
When you have sudden hearing loss in one ear you must rush to the doctor as an emergency
since it may be reversed.
Hearing aids can be given and help to amplify and make sound louder for the individual
Others like cochlear implants are fixed to help in directly stimulating the nerve in response to
One can also learn various communication skills such as reading lips and sign language
1. Immunizing children against childhood diseases
2. Screening and treatment of pregnant mothers
3. Reducing exposure to loud noise both at workplace and in entertainment joints
4. Wearing protective devices such as ear plugs and headphones when operating in noisy
5. Treating ear infections on time
6. Education to the public for all