Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Hearing loss, or deafness, can be
present at birth (congenital), or become evident later in life (acquired). The distinction between acquired and
congenital deafness specifies only the time that the deafness appears. It does
not specify whether the cause of the deafness is genetic (inherited).
Acquired deafness may or may not be
genetic. For example, it may be a manifestation of a delayed-onset form of
genetic deafness. Alternatively, acquired deafness may be due to damage to the
ear due to noise or from other conditions.
Congenital deafness similarly may or may not be genetic. For example, it may
be associated with a white forelock, and be caused by a genetic disease called
Waardenburg syndrome. In fact, more
than half of congenital hearing loss is inherited. Alternatively, congenital
deafness may be due to a condition or infection to which the mother was exposed
during pregnancy, such as the
What are the types of hearing loss?
Hearing loss can also be classified based on which portions of the hearing
system (auditory system) are affected. When the nervous system is affected, it
is referred to as sensorineural hearing loss. When the portions of the ear that
are responsible for transmitting the sound to the nerves are affected, it is
referred to as conductive hearing loss.
Conditions affecting the cochlea, eighth cranial nerve, spinal cord, or brain
cause sensorineural hearing loss. Examples include:
Everyone. No matter how old or young you are, too much exposure to loud noise can permanently
damage your hearing. Whether it's the screech of a chain saw, the sudden blast of a hunting rifle, or the roar of a lawn mower, exposure to loud sounds can cause
noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
NIHL is serious. Some 30 million people are at risk in the workplace, in recreational settings, and at home. In fact, it is the second most self reported work-related illness or injury. Already, 22 million American adults ages 20 to 69 have permanently damaged their hearing from exposure to loud sounds.
What is the WISE EARS!® campaign?
To help prevent NIHL, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has teamed with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and diverse national organizations to create the WISE EARS!® health education campaign. WISE EARS!® is spreading the word that:
The skin on the outer part of the ear canal has special
glands that produce ear wax, also known as cerumen. The purpose of this natural
wax is to protect the ear from damage and infections. Normally, a small amount "...