People around the world suffer from hearing loss on a regular basis. It is defined as the inability to hear sounds at a normal level and can range from mild to severe.
Currently, according to the World Health Organization, over 1.5 billion people, representing almost one-fifth of the global population, experience hearing loss.
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting their ability to communicate, work, and participate in social activities.
In this article, we will examine the reasons behind and the available treatment options for hearing loss.
Causes of Hearing Loss
A variety of factors can cause hearing loss:
- Genetic factors play a role in some types of hearing loss, such as inherited sensorineural hearing loss.
- Age-related hearing loss, which is also referred to as presbycusis, is a prevalent cause of hearing loss in older individuals.
- Long-term exposure to loud noise, such as working in a noisy environment or attending loud music events, can cause noise-induced hearing loss.
- Ototoxic medications, such as certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, can also cause hearing loss.
- Monoclonal antibody medications, such as Tepezza, can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Trauma or injury, such as a skull fracture, can cause hearing loss.
- Infections or illnesses like meningitis or measles can also cause hearing loss.
It’s worth mentioning that Tepezza is a monoclonal antibody that targets and blocks the activity of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor to treat thyroid eye disease.
But this medication has recently gained attention due to its side effects. According to some studies, Tepezza has been linked to hearing loss in some patients. As a result, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that patients receiving the drug undergo hearing tests before and during treatment.
Affected patients have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of this drug. If you believe that this drug has done harm to you or someone you know, then you can also file a Tepezza lawsuit to seek compensation.
Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be classified into three main types:
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Damage to the inner ear or the nerves connecting it to the brain results in sensorineural hearing loss. This condition is prevalent and can be triggered by a wide range of causes, including the natural aging process, prolonged exposure to loud noise, certain medications, head traumas, and medical conditions.
According to Healthline, sensorineural hearing loss is the main reason for more than 90% of adults’ hearing loss.
In simple terms, sensorineural hearing loss is when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or not functioning correctly, which makes it difficult to hear or understand sounds. This hearing loss ranges from mild to severe and can be permanent in nature.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when something prevents sound from getting to the inner ear, which makes hearing and understanding difficult. A variety of factors, such as a build-up of earwax, a perforated eardrum, or a problem with the bones in the middle ear, can cause this type of hearing loss.
It can also be caused by a congenital malformation, infection, or disease. Treatments for conductive hearing loss are more likely to be successful than those for sensorineural hearing loss.
Mixed Hearing Loss
It is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, resulting from both inner and outer ear issues leading to hearing difficulties. It is caused by a combination of different factors that affect the inner ear and the outer or middle ear.
Diagnosis of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is typically diagnosed through a hearing test, also known as an audiogram. Hearing tests involve listening to different pitches and volumes of tones and indicating when they can hear them. A medical evaluation may also be conducted to determine the cause of the hearing loss and rule out any underlying conditions.
The treatment options for hearing loss depend on its type and severity.
Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices are effective in enhancing hearing for those with sensorineural hearing loss.
Surgery may be an alternative for some individuals with conductive hearing loss. Rehabilitation and therapy, such as speech therapy, can also be beneficial for those with hearing loss.
Prevention of Hearing Loss
Preventing hearing loss is important to maintain good hearing throughout life. Some ways to prevent hearing loss include protecting the ears from loud noise, getting regular hearing tests, making healthy lifestyle choices, and avoiding ototoxic medications.
If you believe you may have hearing loss, seek medical attention as soon as possible so that the outcome can be improved. With the help of modern technology and rehabilitation, people with hearing loss can lead fulfilling lives.