The month of May has a variety of different health issues, to be brought to our awareness. I posted about arthritis previously, and now we’re going to move on to hearing concerns.
Lets start with Hearing Loss…
There are different forms of hearing loss includes
> conductive hearing loss
> sensorineural hearing loss
> mixed hearing loss
Depending on what part of the ear is affected, will determine which type of hearing loss is experienced. So there are different portions of the ear, divided into external ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The external ear involves the auricle/pinna (fleshy part), tympanic membrane, and the external auditory meatus (ear canal). The middle ear includes the auditory ear bones including the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup). As the sound waves comes into the external ear, it hits the tympanic membrane, and shakes the ear bones. This is where pressure waves are beginning to be converted to mechanical, and later electrical waves. Finally, the inner ear includes the round window, cochlea, semicircular canals, and the cochlear nerve, which stimulates sound to the brain to be interpreted.
Conductive hearing loss can be due to cerumen (wax) impaction or other objects that can be stuck in the external ear pinna or external auditory meatus. Conductive hearing loss is very common in children, sticking jelly beans, or other small objects in their ears. Removal of the object would be the correct course of action. Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage to the cochlea or cochlear nerve, which is cranial nerve eight (CN VIII), which relays the sound waves to the brain for interpretation. This types of hearing loss can be caused by trauma to the head (concussion or a blow to the head), illness, age, or continued exposures to loud noises. Finally, mixed hearing loss combines both the conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing loss:
> Abnormal speech recognition
> Continually increasing the volume on movies, music, etc.
> Recent ear infections
What can I do to reduce hearing loss?
> Lower volume on cell phones, listening to music (iPods), etc.
> Avoid loud noises
> Wear earplugs whenever applicable
> Consider homeopathics
> Ear candling
> Chinese herbs
> Ear lavage