Approximately three of every 1,000 babies are born with a hearing loss, this type of deficiency being one of the most frequent congenital anomalies. In addition, hearing loss can develop later in a person’s life. Therefore it is important to always take care not to affect our listening.According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 5% -360 million- of the total world population has a hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Hearing loss refers to a loss greater than 30dB in the ear with better listening in children and a loss greater than 40dB in the ear with better listening in adults.People with a hearing loss can not communicate, which isolates them and places them in a vulnerable situation before others.
HOW TO DETECT A HEARING LOSS
How to detect a baby or a child who has hearing problems?Hearing loss can be detected in very young children and it is the parents who are the first to notice it.
When the baby does not show attention to the sounds of the environment, does not flip or startle loud noises.
Do not turn looking for the voice of their relatives, or the sound of toys.
It does not respond to mom’s voice unless it’s in front of him.
Does not stammer or starts to babble and stops.
It relies basically on gestures and gestures to communicate without developing language.
He does not say his first words, as is common, a year and a half or 2 years of age.
If your answers allow you to observe a suspicion in your baby’s hearing, we recommend that you print the following test and answer it while observing your child.
Do not wait to ask for help if you suspect that your child may have a problem. You and family members know more about your child than anyone else.The early detection and treatment of speech, language and hearing disorders make a difference in your child’s learning and communication, which can prevent emotional, educational and social interaction problems.
How to detect a young person or adult who is losing the hearing or if one is losing it?
It seems that others speak under their breath, and it is difficult to understand other people when they speak or whisper.
Frequently, others are asked to speak more slowly, clearer and louder.
Difficulties to hear television and radio at the volume that others consider normal.
Generally, people who suffer from some hearing loss withdraw from some social activities because of the difficulty of listening and communicating.
To diagnose a hearing loss, one or more of the following tests are performed depending on each person and age.Babies and small children:
- Neonatal sieve
- Study of otoacoustic emissions
- Brain stem auditory evoked potentials
- Youth and adults:Audiometry, Tympanometry, Impressions of cochlea
CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS
Congenital causes that may be present at birth, or appear a bit later
- The hearing loss can be hereditary, transmitted by one of the parents.
- Problems during pregnancy and childbirth, such as: low weight due to premature birth, asphyxia of childbirth or situations during it that cause hypoxemia of the fetus; rubella, syphilis or other infections.
- Improper use of ototoxic medications (the list includes more than 130, such as gentamicin) during pregnancy.
Acquired causes that can cause hearing loss at any age
- Some infectious diseases such as meningitis, measles and mumps, mainly in childhood, but also in later life.
- The inner ear can be damaged by ototoxic drugs at any age, some antibiotics and antimalarials stand out in this category.
- Chronic ear infections that usually manifest as chronic suppuration.
- Strong blows to the skull or ears.
- Listen to very loud music, especially with headphones
- Repeated exposure to loud noises, such as machinery, cement drills, etc.
DEGREES AND TYPES OF LOSS
In a hearing loss there is a decrease in the ability to listen partially or totally. The hearing losses have different degrees, ranging from mild, medium, severe to profound.
A person with mild hearing loss may be able to hear some sounds, while a person with profound loss may not hear anything at all.
In order to understand a little more about the difference between the losses, it is interesting to know where the hearing deficiency comes from, that is why medicine has identified four types of losses:
Driving: occurs when there is a problem in a part of the outer or middle ear. Most children with driving hearing loss have a mild loss that is usually temporary because in most cases it can be treated medically.
Sensory: occurs when the cochlea is not working properly because the small hair cells that line its interior are damaged or destroyed. Depending on the degree of loss, a child may be able to hear most sounds (albeit more muted), only some sounds or no sounds at all. Sensory hearing impairments are almost always permanent and can influence the child’s speech.
Mixed: occurs when there is loss of driving and sensorial simultaneouslyNeural hearing loss: occurs when there is a problem in the connection that connects the cochlea to the brain.
Neural means relative to the nerves, so that in this type of hearing loss, the nerve that carries the sound information from the cochlea to the brain is damaged.
TREATMENTS IN SMALL (AS)
Once a hearing loss is diagnosed and confirmed, the treatment depends on the type of loss and the age of the child at the time of diagnosis.It will be necessary to provide hearing devices that amplify sounds or a Cochlear Implant that facilitates listening. The choice between one and the other depends on the specific loss of each child.
The hearing devices amplify the sounds and even allow them to be better captured, when heard more clearly. The hearing devices send amplified sounds (through sound vibrations) from the eardrum and middle ear, to the inner ear or cochlea.
For some children with profound loss, there is a device called Cochlear Implant . It is a tiny electronic piece that is implanted in the cochlea by an operation and performs the function that the damaged or destroyed cilia of the cochlea should perform, that is, transform the sounds into electrical signals that directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
The hearing aids are electrical devices that amplify and equalize the sounds to give a better quality of hearing. Cochlear implants are indicated for those children with severe to profound bilateral sensory deafness; in whom the hearing aids do not give them enough hearing gain to allow them to understand the language.
The decision between one or the other is made by the specificity of the loss in each little one. Having appliances or an implant does not work automatically; It is necessary to teach the child to recognize the sounds and interpret them through a detailed work in his hearing which is achieved by means of Hearing Therapies. And none of the above could be developed effectively without the support, understanding and patience of the parents. Those who learn that their children can have achievements will be the first to help their children achieve them.
To ensure the qualification of the child is important Early detection and diagnosis (before 2 years of age)