Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hearing Disorder Support

I have been searching for a couple of days now for online support groups for adults with hearing disorders and to be honest there really isn't to many for those with disorders and not completely deaf. I came across many many groups for parents of deaf children, for adults that are deaf but I couldn't find one I truly felt like I could fit into.

My "disorder" is a progressive one called stapedial otosclerosis and from the House site states:

"Otosclerosis is an abnormal, microscopic growth of bone in the walls of the inner ear. This abnormal growth causes the stapes bone (also called the "stirrup") to become immobile or "fixed". Normally the stapes vibrates freely to allow the transmission of sound to the inner ear, but when it cannot move, it prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear fluids, and hearing is impaired.

Otosclerotic bone sometimes involves other structures of the inner ear, thereby affecting the nerves of the inner ear. When this occurs it also causes a distortion or difficulty in understanding the speech of others, regardless of how loudly they talk.

Otosclerosis affects only the ears and usually involves both ears. It occurs in men and women with almost equal frequency and usually begins in the teens or early twenties. Although otosclerosis tends to run in families, there is no pattern to its heredity."

"Stapedial OtosclerosisUsually otosclerosis spreads to the stapes or stirrup bone, the final link in the middle ear transformer chain. This stapes rests in a small groove, the oval window, in intimate contact with the inner ear fluids. Anything that interferes with its motion results in a conductive hearing impairment. This type of impairment is called stapedial otosclerosis and is usually correctable by surgery.

The amount of hearing loss due to involvement of the stapes and the degree of nerve impairment present can be determined only by careful hearing tests."

You can read more at House Clinic about the two treatments that are available to those with my disorder. Hearing aids or surgery which is called a stapedectomy.

My ENT told me that it was a hereditary disorder so not sure what to think about that but my mother is hard of hearing in her left ear which is also my worst ear. Either way I am losing my hearing and honestly it's much worse than I had anticipated when I went to the ENT.

These 2 charts show a difference in hearing normally and below normal. The first chart shows db at 20 or less that is normal range of hearing. The second shows the db down to 50 this shows hearing loss.

My personal chart was in the 80's which is Severe Hearing Loss. That means I do not hear normal range of sound, if you are across the room and talking to me in a normal voice I will not hear you. In fact my range of hearing never got above below avg hearing mark even on the highest pitch sounds.

So those of you who know me and talk to me via phone or in person know that I am not ignoring you I really can not hear you. I hope this helps explain my hearing loss a bit better.

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