Hearing is one of the most challenging processes of human beings. Even though the hearing process is very complex, we don’t realize it. We feel as if it is a smooth process since we don’t make any effort to hear what others speak. When someone nearby speaks, or music is played nearby, the sound automatically falls on our ears. We don’t have to put any special effort to listen to the sound.
Here is how the ear works:
- Sound is sent in the form of sound waves from the environment. The sound waves are collected by the outer ear and sent down the ear channel (called a canal) to our eardrum.
- The sound waves produce vibration in eardrums, which sets the middle ear’s tiny bones into action.
- The movement of the bones causes the fluid in the cochlea or inner ear to move.
- The movement of the inner ear fluid makes the hair cells in the cochlea to twist. The hair cells change the direction into electrical pulses.
- These produced electrical impulses are sent to the auditory (hearing) nerve and up to our brain, where they are represented as sound.
Like the hearing process’s complexity, how one loses hearing ability is also complicated and very difficult to explain. Doctors can indeed explain the process, but ordinary people cannot easily recognize what they describe.
In simple words, a person will not be capable of hearing when his inner ear is impaired. Rupture of the eardrum can often lead to a collapse of the inner ear.
You may have seen a newborn baby with a hearing disability. It is hard to determine the root cause of the loss of hearing ability in the baby. The baby might have caught some infection from the mother when it was in her womb. Viral infections can affect a baby’s ears since the canals in the baby’s inner ear are fragile and susceptible to infections.
It is often recommended not to burst crackers or play loud songs when a pregnant woman is nearby since it may influence the infant’s hearing ability inside the womb. When the infant’s delicate ears are subjected to loud sound, it is sure to corrupt the ears of the infant, causing permanent or temporary loss of hearing ability.
In some cases, the patients and doctor wouldn’t even know if the kid is born deaf. They would find out about the kid’s condition only a few months or years after the child is born when they don’t respond to anything the parents say. The troubled parents would then examine the reasons and try to bring back the kid’s hearing ability. Sometimes, it may be really late, and the kid would never get his hearing ability back.
A kid can be born deaf due to genetic causes as well. Genetic reasons, along with some environmental factors, can cause permanent hearing loss to a newborn.
Other Reasons Why a Child Is Born Deaf
- Lack of oxygen (anoxia)
- Intrauterine infections including rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus
- Complications associated with the Rh factor in the blood
- Toxemia during pregnancy
- Maternal diabetes
One of the best ways a deaf child can hear again is by using hearing aids.