Anacusis, otherwise known as total deafness, is a complete lack of auditory perception to the degree of hearing loss of more than 120 dB. It is a less common form of hearing loss, as even with profound hearing loss of more than 90 dB, patients retain the ability to perceive some sounds.
The most immediate symptom of total hearing loss is the inability to perceive any kind of sound, regardless of how loud they are. If deafness is present in infancy, the child will be deaf-mute, and the only sounds they will be able to make will be incomprehensable shouts, or noises when crying or laughing.
Some of the causes of deafness include:
Total deafness can only be diagnosed by a specialist. Anyone who suspects that they may be suffering from anacusis must immediately make an appointment to undergo a complete audiometric hearing test, which will determine the condition of the middle and inner ear, the ear canal and their hearing thresholds. The treatment method will depend on whether the deafness is unilateral or bilateral, and will take into account the possibility of reversing the damage suffered by the ear.
When hearing is within normal limits in one ear but the other ear is affected, the term used to describe this is unilateral hearing loss, but can also be referred to as “one-sided hearing loss”.
Unilateral hearing loss can be either a reduced or complete inability to hear out of one ear. Many who suffer from this type of hearing impairment have difficulty determining the direction of sound, and struggle to separate background noise and speech.
Bilateral hearing loss, or, “double-sided hearing loss” means a reduced ability to hear in not one, but both ears. The continuum of hearing loss covers a range of levels – from mild to profound to anacusis (total hearing loss).
Double-sided hearing loss impairs both ears, although possibly at different levels. Most people have one ear that hears better than the other.