Imagine a world of silence
There are three main types of hearing loss:
• sensorineural and
• mixed hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is a loss of loudness caused by blockage or damage in the outer and/or middle ear. It can be acquired or congenital.
The good news is conductive hearing loss can often be helped by medical or surgical treatment.
Conductive hearing loss can be caused by:
• blockages of the ear canal by wax or foreign objects,
• perforation of the ear drum
• outer and middle ear infections
• malformations of the outer or middle ear
In developing countries up to 6% of children under the age of 10 suffer from chronic otitis media - middle ear infections. If it is not treated early, only an operation may be able to prevent severe hearing impairment.
A hereditary condition called otosclerosis where the bone grows around the tiny stirrup bones in the middle ear can also cause conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is a loss of loudness and a loss of clarity caused by damage or malfunction of the cochlea or the hearing nerve.
The quantity and the quality of sound are affected and may limit the benefit of a hearing aid.
Causes can range from aging, excessive noise exposure, diseases and viruses such as meningitis, mumps and measles or even head injuries.
Babies can be born with sensorineural hearing loss caused by birth trauma, rubella and jaundice. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be hereditary.
Mixed hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in both the outer or middle ear, and the inner ear.
James lives in
Deafness is the invisible disability. James looks like any other boy, but finds it so much harder to learn and communicate, or stay safe from dangers like traffic.
James was falling far behind at school when he was discovered by our partners from Project Heaven (which stands for HEAring and Vision Enhancement). We were able to give him a hearing aid. "Awesome" is how he describes being able to hear again. Now he can walk to school without fear of being knocked down. Now he can hear his teacher's lessons.
James and his family will never forget the generosity that has opened this little boy's ears, through cbm and Project Heaven.
Facts about hearing impairment
• Hearing impairment is considered the most prevalent impairment – almost 600 million, an estimated 10 % of people worldwide have mild or worse hearing impairment. 250 million have moderate or worse hearing impairment. Two thirds of them live in developing countries.
• Illnesses that are less common in industrialised countries often lead to widespread damaged hearing or complete hearing loss in developing countries, where health workers and access to health care are scarce and often the population is less informed.
• Hearing impairment in childhood can have severe consequences for the development of speech, language and cognitive skills. Hearing impaired children in developing countries often do not have access to any form of education
• Also, if occurring at later stages in life, hearing impairment may lead to difficulties in obtaining and in keeping work. Many persons with hearing impairment find it difficult to take part in conversations, therefore they may easily be isolated or excluded from social interaction.
For more information about hearing impairment visit the World Health Organisation.