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Causes of Deafness and Hearing Loss
Hearing impairment and loss are due to the following factors:
a) Conductive Deafness is better understood when you are acquainted with the structure of the ear.
The sound is conducted through the air into the outer ear. On reaching the tympanic membrane the sound waves changes the fluid level in semicircular canals. The passage of air in the outer ear is called the 'Conductive Pathway.' The conductive pathway can get affected due to build up of wax in the ear, a foreign body in the pathway, and any swelling of the outer ear.
The conditions can cause temporary deafness that can be medically treated. Conductive deafness causes blockage of the Eustachian tube. The blocking fluid becomes thick like 'glue' and can be drained out with surgical operation.
b) Sensory Neural Deafness is due to the damage of the ear drum, cochlea, auditory nerve and the associated brain cells. Such a damage can be (i) congenital or (ii) acquired.
c) Congenital Deafness can be due to genetic disorders and premature birth. A pregnant mother having German Measles during the first trimester of pregnancy may give birth to a deaf child. An attack of severe jaundice in which the mother's blood is incompatible with that of the foetus also results in congenital deafness.
d. Mixed Hearing Loss is a result of hearing impairments arising due to a combination of conductive and sensory neural defects.
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