The mumps virus damages the cochlea, located in the inner ear. This snail-shaped structure houses stereocilia, otherwise known as hair cells, which translate sound vibrations into nerve impulses for the brain to interpret as sound. These hair cells do not regenerate, so once they are damaged or destroyed, hearing is permanently affected.
Those who lose hearing as a result of having the mumps most likely have sensorineural hearing loss. Measles and rubella can also cause this type of hearing loss.
Hearing aids may be beneficial for those who suffer mild to severe hearing loss. A hearing healthcare professional can help you decide which hearing aid manufacturer and model is best for your budget and your lifestyle.
Cochlear implants are an option for those with profound hearing loss and consist of an internal and external component. The internal component is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear and connects to the external component with a magnetic disk. These medical devices bypass the damaged cochlea and directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a rich, vibrant language with its own syntax and grammar which uses hand gestures, body language and facial expressions.
Cued speech is a type of sign language which uses hand movements combined with mouth shapes.
Fortunately, mumps-related hearing loss is rare. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), less than 1 percent of all individuals infected with mumps experience deafness. Your best defense against the disease is immunization. Talk to your pediatrician about vaccination schedules for your children as well as adult members of your family who have not yet had the mumps.