Hearing A–Z

Otosclerosis is a disease that causes bony growth on the ossicles and causes the stapes to become immobile, thus not allowing sound to be transferred into the cochlea.

Meniere’s disease is a problem involving fluid pressure within the cochlea. A person will experience intermittent episodes of hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus. These episodes can occur anytime and for varying amounts of time. They are often associated with stress.

Tinnitus is a physical condition, experienced as noises or ringing in the ears or head when no such external physical noise is present. Tinnitus is usually caused by a fault in the hearing system; it is a symptom, not a disease in itself. The word “tinnitus” means “tinkling or ringing like a bell”.

Trauma to the ear can include fractures of the temporal bone, puncture of the eardrum by foreign objects, sudden changes in air pressure, and very loud noises.

Presbycusis is caused by natural aging of the human body and begins after age 20, but often it is not noticed until the ages of 55 to 65. Presbycusis affects the high frequencies, making understanding and hearing speech difficult.

Noise-induced hearing loss is due to exposure to either a sudden, loud noise or exposure to loud noises for a period of time. It comes from damage to the hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea). Once these cells are damaged they do not regenerate. The result of such damage includes decreased hearing for soft sound, decreased speech clarity, and difficulty hearing in noise. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can result in permanent impairment.

Noise damage is often cumulative, resulting from long term exposure to moderate and loud sounds such as industrial machinery or music. It can also occur after a single exposure to a very loud sound. The effects of noise exposure are permanent.

Three things you can do to prevent Noise-induced hearing loss:

  • Turn down the volume on personal music players
  • Wear hearing protection when exposed to loud noise at work, concerts and sporting events or when using noisy tools at home and work
  • Limit the amount of time you are exposed to loud noise

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