Hearing loss and Deafness
Difficulty in hearing is a common condition with varying severity. However, in most cases, the condition is completely treatable if diagnosed at an early stage. Deafness can be genetic or congenital and acquired. Deafness can be caused due to infections such as meningitis or may be caused due to trauma. Following are some of the treatment options for hearing loss:
- If the hearing loss is due to infection or congestion, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics and decongestants.
- Damage to eardrum or ossicles can be treated through microsurgery.
- Conditions such as otosclerosis can also be treated with microsurgery.
- When medicines and surgery fail to correct the hearing capacity, using hearing aid devices could be the option.
In case of severe injury to the inner ear, cochlear implants are fitted in the ear that performs the function of the cochlea.
A cochlear implant has two components. One is the outer component that receives the sound signal, and other is the inner component that stimulates the cochlear nerve when the sound is received by the outer component.
The surgical procedure used to implant the cochlear device is known as mastoidectomy with facial recess approach (MFRA).
Eustachian tube is a canal-like structure that connects the nose to the middle ear. The function of this tube is to maintain the pressure inside the middle ear.
When this tube gets clogs, patient experiences symptoms such as pressure and fullness of the ear, and ear pain.
Allergy and infection that leads to sinusitis are the main causes of building ear pressure. The treatment for sinusitis includes antibiotics, antiallergics, decongestants, and corticosteroids.
PTA (Pure tone Audiometry)
Various tests are conducted to diagnose hearing disorders. Pure-tone Audiometry is one such test.
It is considered as an important test for measuring the threshold level of hearing that helps in evaluating the degree, and type of hearing loss.
As the test is subjective analysis because it depends upon the response of the patient towards pure tone stimuli, it is conducted only to the patients who can cooperate with the doctor.
Middle ear implants
Middle hearing implants are used in people whose hearing ability is not improved by hearing aids.
It is generally implanted in people with sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss. It comprises of two components. One is the outer component which is used to gather the sound stimuli.
These sounds are amplified and transmitted to the inner device located just near the cochlea. The device translates the sound signals to vibrations that reach the cochlea and thus aids in hearing.
BERA (Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry)
This is a diagnostic test conducted to examine the brain function related to hearing in the presence of a sound stimulus.
This test is used to evaluate the speed of nerve impulse conduction through the auditory nerve. The time taken for this test is approximately 60 minutes.
This test is done in patients suffering from various diseases involving auditory nerve such as auditory nerve tumor, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and degenerative neuropathy.