Conductive Hearing Loss (CHL)/ Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL)


A conductive hearing loss happens when sounds cannot get through the outer and middle ear. It may be hard to hear soft sounds. Louder sounds may be muffled (muted). A conductive hearing loss reduces the ability to hear at a normal hearing level. One of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is a blockage in the external ear canal, usually caused by wax (excessive cerum). Other causes of conductive hearing loss can be infections of the ear canal, a perforated or ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane), very small ears, cysts and tumours, or foreign objects in the ear canal. Otosclerosis, which is an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear, can also cause a conductive hearing loss. Medicine or surgery can often fix this type of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL, happens after inner ear damage. Problems with the nerve pathways from your inner ear to your brain can also cause SNHL. Soft sounds may be hard to hear. Even louder sounds may be unclear or may sound muffled. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. Most of the time, medicine or surgery cannot fix SNHL. Hearing aids may help you hear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by the following things: illnesses, drugs that are toxic to hearing, hearing loss that runs in the family, aging, a blow to the head, a problem in the way the inner ear is formed, listening to loud noises or explosions.

Benefits of HBOT :

HBOT is gaining popularity, both for treating tinnitus and SSNHL. In both cases, it is much more effective in the early stages. In HBOT, the patient sits inside a pressurized chamber. Air pressure inside the chamber is increased to 2.5 times normal atmospheric pressure. The patient then breathes pure oxygen from a mask for 1 to 2 hours. Sessions are repeated on successive days for 10 or 15 times. Due to the increased pressure inside the chamber, far more oxygen is dissolved in the bloodstream than under normal conditions. HBOT enables the oxygen content of the blood to reach up to 7%, which is 20 times higher than normal. This increases oxygen pressure in the inner ear. It has been shown that there is a profound decrease in oxygenation of the cochlea during and after acoustic stress and in SSNHL. During exposure to HBOT, the oxygenation in the cochlea increases up to 460%. The hair cells in the cochlea have no direct vascular supply of oxygen and depend entirely on oxygen supplied by diffusion. An increase in oxygen compensates for oxygen deficiency caused by trauma and gives rise to mechanisms that are involved in functional recovery.



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