How People Becoming Hard of Hearing: 5 Ways People Lose Their Hearing AbilitiesPublished On: May 22, 2019
Hearing loss doesn’t single out anyone. Whether you’re a child, a teenager or a senior, loss of hearing abilities knows no boundaries.
Do you know how to protect you and your family from the loss of hearing? Don’t let them become part of the millions of people who suffer from hearing loss.
Read more to find out the nine most common causes of hearing loss.
9 Common Causes of Loss of Hearing Abilities
By finding out more about the causes of losing your hearing, you can take precautions to stop it from happening to you and your family.
At the top of the list for hearing loss is aging, but other factors also contribute to this problem.
Aging is one of the most common causes of losing your hearing abilities. Most people suffer from hearing loss as they age. This condition is known as presbycusis.
This results in a gradual lack of hearing over an extended period of time. This can start at 65-years old, but it’s more common in the elderly over age 74. When the hearing loss starts, it affects both ears.
The reason for elderly hearing loss is because physical changes happen to the inner ear, middle ear and nerve pathways from the ear to the brain.
Many elderly people don’t notice they’re losing their hearing. Usually, a family member is the first to notice the problem and recommends visiting an ENT specialist.
If you’ve noticed a parent or grandparent having trouble hearing, an audiologist can determine the severity of the hearing loss. Then you can talk about treatment options like hearing aids.
Too Much Noise
You probably remember your parents always telling you, ”Turn down that music. You’re going to go deaf!”
At the time, you thought they were exaggerating, but they were right. Being exposed to loud noise is one of the ways you lose your hearing.
When you drive in your car, singing along with your favorite tunes, you don’t have to worry too much.
Extended exposure to noise over 85 decibels can damage your hearing. The louder the noise, the more damage to your ears. This is called noise-induced hearing loss.
In fact, wearing headphones listening to your playlist at max volume can cause permanent ear damage in 15 minutes. The sound can reach 100 dBA.
If you work with heavy equipment, at demolition sites, airports, or near loud music, you’re at risk. You can prevent this by taking a few precautions.
- Wear earplugs
- Turn down the volume
- Leave the noisy area
If you take your children to loud events, such as monster truck shows, fire truck musters, or musical events, make sure their ears have protection.
Although diabetes causes hearing loss, the exact reason is unclear. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 84 million people in the US have prediabetes. Of that number, 30 percent more people suffer from hearing loss than those with normal blood sugar.
The ADA believes that the hearing loss could be from damaged blood vessels in the ear caused by diabetes.
Certain injuries can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. The most common are concussions and traumatic brain injuries. These usually cause violent impacts to your head, causing ear auditory path damage.
Ear injuries from head trauma are:
- Tissue damage
- Blocked blood flow
- Ruptured eardrum
Some of these injuries are self-healing, depending on how severe they are. Any of these conditions can also make you feel dizzy and nauseous. This is known as vertigo.
Although strokes can happen at any age, the elderly are more susceptible to it. When you suffer a stroke, it affects your temporal lobe.
The most common side effects of stroke are trouble speaking, memory loss, paralysis, trouble swallowing, and permanent or temporary hearing loss.
The amount of hearing loss depends on which part of the brain the stroke affects. If the stroke affects both temporal lobes, it can lead to deafness.
Hearing aids can help reverse the hearing loss from stroke and correct other symptoms like hearing phantom sounds, inability to understand words and hearing distorted sounds.
Like old age, heredity is another non-medical condition that causes hearing loss. If you have genetic factors that cause hearing loss in your family, then you may be more prone to it too.
Genetic conditions, such as Usher’s syndrome, Pendred syndrome and Otosclerosis cause problems with hearing.
Certain types of shingles can cause hearing loss. One of them is Ramsay Hunt syndrome. This causes a rash in the facial nerve near your ear. On top of the painful rash, you can also suffer from facial paralysis, vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss.
It’s important to seek treatment if you have any of these symptoms. Ramsay Hunt usually affects people over 60-years old but younger people can get it too.
If you had Chickenpox as a child, you’re at risk for this condition.
Platinum-based drugs, such as cisplatin or carboplatin used to treat ovarian, lung, and other cancers can damage the tiny hair cells in your ears. These hairs sense vibrations that produce sound.
If you take these medications, you can suffer from tinnitus and trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. Sometimes, these symptoms go away when you stop chemotherapy, but they could cause permanent hearing loss.
You might not think of obesity causing hearing loss. The thing is that the complications from being overweight can cause hearing loss.
Overweight people often suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and depression. All of these symptoms relate to hearing loss.
Your inner ear needs proper blood flow and oxygen for you to hear correctly.
Excess weight makes it hard for your heart to pump blood and oxygen to the small capillaries in your ear, which control blood and oxygen. Without these, your hearing is at risk.
Prevention and Treatment for Hearing Loss
Of course, prevention is the best defense against losing your hearing abilities. Unfortunately, for most elderly with hearing loss, seeking treatment is the only option.
Hearing aids have come a long way in helping people hear much better. If you or a loved one has hearing loss, contact us for information on hearing aids that can bring back the joy of sound to you.