Noise Induced Hearing Loss
When we are exposed to harmful noises, sounds that are too loud, or loud sounds that last a long time sensitive structures in the inner ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert sound energy into electrical signals that travel to the brain, where the brain converts them into meaningful sounds. Once damaged, hair cells cannot grow back and lose the ability to conduct sound.
Hyperacusis (Increased Sensitivity to Everyday Sounds)
Hyperacusis is a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain’s central auditory processing center perceives noise. It can often lead to pain and discomfort.
Genes and Hearing Loss
One of the most common birth defects is hearing loss or deafness (congenital), which can affect as many as three of every 1,000 babies born. Inherited genetic defects play an important role in congenital hearing loss, contributing to about 60% of deafness occurring in infants. Although exact data is not available, it is likely that genetics plays an important role in hearing loss in the elderly.
Ear Infection and Vaccines (Middle Ear Infection or Otitis Media)
Researchers continue to look for help for children and parents of children who suffer from the most common type of ear infection, called middle ear infection or otitis media (OM). About 62 percent of children in developed countries will have their first episode of OM by the age of one, more than 80 percent by their third birthday, and nearly 100 percent will have at least one episode by age five.
Ear Infection and Hearing Loss
Otitis media refers to inflammation of the middle ear. When an abrupt infection occurs, the condition is called "acute otitis media." Acute otitis media occurs when a cold, allergy, and the presence of bacteria or viruses lead to the accumulation of pus and mucus behind the eardrum, blocking the Eustachian tube. This can cause earache and fever.