Questions and answers about deafness

1.What is the deafness?

In daily life, we will encounter such children, who can’t hear or hear the voices of the outside world, can’t talk or are unclear, and can’t communicate with others in normal language. These symptoms are caused by hearing loss due to problems in their hearing system. The sound is transmitted to the brain through the outer ear → middle ear → inner ear → auditory nerve. In the sound conduction path, problems in any part can cause deafness.

Anatomy of the ear

Deafness related knowledge

Auditory conduction diagram

a normal auditory system in which sound is collected by the outer ear and transmitted to the tympanic membrane through the external auditory canal in the form of sound waves;

2 These sonic energy causes vibration of the tympanic membrane;

3 The vibrational energy is transmitted to the inner ear through the middle ear to cause the movement of hair cells in the cochlea;

4 The hair cells transmit the signal to the auditory nerve, and the auditory nerve transmits the signal to the brain. Through the brain recognition, we hear the sound.

2.What are the causes of deafness?

There are many reasons for deafness.

The causes of congenital deafness include: close relatives marriage; hereditary deafness; infection of the mother during pregnancy (especially the first three months). Such as rubella, cytomegalovirus infection, etc., or the use of streptomycin, gentamicin, quinine and other drugs; trauma caused by childbirth, hypoxia asphyxia (dystocia).

The causes of acquired deafness include: foreign body in the external auditory canal caused by obstruction of the external auditory canal; otitis media; acute or chronic infectious diseases caused by viruses or bacteria such as meningitis, measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough, mumps, colds, rubella, viral pneumonia, etc.; Drug-induced deafness, which is streptomycin, gentamicin, quinine, neomycin and kanamycin is the most dangerous; traumatic deafness, mainly refers to noise caused by convulsions.

3.What is the common deafness classification?

According to the onset time, it can be divided into congenital deafness and acquired deafness. Congenital deafness refers to the occurrence of the disease in the mother’s pregnancy, the deafness occurs when the baby is born; the deafness refers to the deafness caused by various pathogenic factors after the baby is born.

According to the cause of the disease, it can be divided into hereditary deafness, infectious deafness, drug-induced deafness, and traumatic deafness.

According to the location of the disease can be divided into conductive deafness, sensorineural deafness, mixed deafness.

4.Can deafness be treated?

In general, conductive deafness can be treated by medical means; for mixed deafness, medical means and rehabilitation means, but auditory rehabilitation is long-term and lifelong. For sensory neurological deafness, the cause should be analyzed, such as sudden deafness and early toxic deafness, and acoustic neuroma can be treated with medical means in time. For the treatment of sudden deafness and drug-induced deafness, and other sensory neurological deafness caused by various causes, the best way to recover is to obtain better hearing compensation by matching hearing aids.

5.How is the degree of deafness divided?

In terms of the degree of deafness, people often measure the decibel of the sound intensity to measure.

Extremely severe (hearing loss is greater than90decibel)

Severe (hearing loss)71~90decibel)

Moderate to severe (hearing loss)56~70decibel)

Moderate (hyperic loss)41~55decibel)

Mild (hearing loss)26~40decibel)

6.How to protect the residual hearing of deaf children?

The key to the protection of residual hearing in deaf children is to choose a suitable hearing aid. If only Hearing aid It is not correct to be a commodity, without the professional fitting, and to buy it directly from the commodity. It is even a terrible threat to the residual hearing of the nephew. The correct method is to find a professional hearing aid. Professionals can choose according to the hearing loss level, audiogram characteristics and hearing aid fitting standards of the deaf children, so that the deaf children can obtain satisfactory hearing compensation.

Is a cochlear implant a permanent solution for deafness?

It is very tempting and common for parents of young, hard of hearing children to want to wait for the next big break-through in gene therapy, cochlear implant technology, etc.. The fact remains, however, that for children with thresholds beyond around 70 dBHL (perhaps even slightly less), results with cochlear implants are generally superior to results with hearing aids. Structurally, the internal components of cochlear implants should last a lifetime. However, with a future of implantable microphones, capabilities for maybe hundreds of electrodes using nano-technology, and a myriad of other advances, it is questionable whether someone implanted today might not consider re-implantation with a more modern device 40 years down the road.
However, we also know that time is of the essence, with results decreasing significantly beyond around the 4 year of life. Therefore, given the outstanding results obtained with modern CIs, it is advisable to implant now to allow for brain development and to consider advances as they arrive. If you miss the critical period, I do not think it will really matter what technologies are available. The brain simply will not catch up. The external components can, of course, be swapped out as newer technologies develop.
While the future will eventually bring new treatments (and hopefully a cure) for deafness, cochlear implants are the best, long term solution for those who are beyond the reach of hearing aids. I certainly do not see anything coming in the next 20 years that would give me pause in implanting a patient today.


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