Topics: Ear, Hearing impairment, Auditory system Pages: 4 (1501 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Deafness is the inability or lowered ability to hear. It can affect one or both ears, and the onset may be gradual or sudden. The causes are varied, and there are many forms of treatment and devices available to remove or lighten the symptoms. Doctors and researchers have studied the ear to find out exactly how it works and how it affects deafness. Sound is caused by vibrations occurring in waves within the atmosphere. For a normal ear, these sounds waves travel along the outer ear and vibrate tympanic membrane. This vibration is transferred along the malleus, incus, and stapes. The mechanical vibration is then taken up as energy by the inner ear and is transmitted as an action potential along the auditory nerve to the brain, where it is interpreted. There are two main types of deafness: conductive and perceptive. These are divided into many other types based on their cause, symptoms, treatment.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when conduction of sound through the outer ear and/or middle ear is disrupted. One with this is unable to hear faint sounds and they experience a reduction in sound level. Approximately 10% of all hearing losses are conductive, which can range from mild to moderate in severity. Conductive hearing loss can often be medically treated, and in many cases, hearing can be restored. This type of deafness can happen because of many reasons including wax in the outer canal, inflammation in the middle ear, the tiny bones in the ear have seized up, and injury to the eardrum.

Wax is a common cause of conductive deafness. An excessive amount of wax in the outer ear occurs from many different reasons. One is from skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. Symptoms one can look for this type of hearing loss include wax swelling following a cold or swimming. After this, deafness develops and medical attention becomes necessary. A few drops of wax solvent or olive oil can be put in the ear for two or three nights. Wax would be needed to be...
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