Deafness is the absence of hearing, which can be complete or partial, on one or both sides. Doctors recommend different treatment tactics depending on the causes of deafness and whether it is congenital or acquired. Hearing aids and ear implants are the most effective. In severe cases, sign language and lip reading help to adapt and improve daily life.
Hearing loss is a severe problem, as the perception and understanding of surrounding sounds are reduced. Complete deafness is a disease in which a person cannot understand surrounding sounds (human speech, music, or nature). The partial disorder also reduces the quality of life.
Deafness is a common condition that affects 5% of the world's population.
It is essential to distinguish between different levels:
- Hearing loss is a reduced ability to hear sounds like other people.
- Deafness occurs when a person cannot hear speech, even when the sound is amplified.
- Severe deafness refers to the complete absence of hearing. A person is unable to perceive sound at all.
Some people are born deaf (congenital deafness), while others suddenly become deaf due to an accident or illness. In addition, tinnitus (ear noises) often accompanies this disease.
There are many causes of congenital deafness:
- Genetic, provoked by malformations of the inner ear or brain;
- Infections during pregnancy;
- Taking certain medications during pregnancy;
- Asphyxia of the child and bleeding in the brain during childbirth.
There are also many reasons for acquired deafness:
- Ear and brain injuries;
- Tumours of the ear and brain;
- Taking certain medications;
- Influence of prolonged and loud noises.
Treatment depends on both the cause and the severity of the deafness. Some types (sensorineural hearing loss) are incurable because it is impossible to repair ear structures. However, various treatments and strategies help improve the quality of life.
Hearing aids do not heal deafness but amplify the sound that enters the ear so the hearing person can hear more clearly. There are behind-the-ear (located behind the auricle), intracanal, or in-the-ear (located in the auditory canal), complete ear canal (CIC) and bone conduction hearing aid (for people who cannot wear conventional hearing aids).
If the eardrum and middle ear function properly, a person may benefit from a cochlear implant. It is a thin electrode inserted into the cochlea and stimulates electricity through a tiny microprocessor placed under the skin behind the ear.
To compensate for the difficulty in understanding speech, doctors recommend learning sign language and lip reading.
Where can I get Deafness treatment?
What are the best clinics for Deafness treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Deafness?
Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Wollenberg from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. Jordi Coromina from Teknon Medical Centre Barcelona
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Suckfull from Academic Hospital Martha-Maria Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Jungehulsing from MEOCLINIC Berlin
Prof. Dr. Sami Katircioglu from Memorial Sisli Hospital Istanbul