Is Hearing Loss Hereditary?

Hearing impairment is becoming a common problem because of lifestyle habits and the general amount of noise people encounter in their daily lives. Some impairment of hearing is due to work noise and listening to loud music on a regular basis, but other types of hearing loss are associated with genetic factors. Today’s hearing care can help improve an individual’s ability to hear clearly.

Symptoms of Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is often a progressive problem that worsens over time. You may notice more difficulty hearing what people are saying in crowded areas or at parties. Speech may sound muffled or you may miss hearing consonants. You may ask people to repeat themselves frequently. You may find yourself withdrawing from conversations because of the inability to hear what is being said or find yourself withdrawing from social interactions entirely.

Common Types of Hereditary Hearing Loss

Some types of hearing impairment are genetic in nature, that is, the genes that affect hearing mutate and are passed down from one generation to another. Sometimes, a number of different genetic factors are present that can cause hearing impairment. Usher’s syndrome is a type of genetic audio impairment that cause an individual to be deaf at birth, but in another form of the condition, the person may be born with normal hearing, which then diminishes over time. Pendred syndrome can also occur, which cause deafness at birth or gradually diminishing hearing as children grow. Otosclerosis is caused by abnormal bone growth in the ear that causes progressive hearing problems.

Common Types of Non-Hereditary Hearing Loss

Not all loss of hearing is caused by heredity. Aging is a common cause of hearing impairment. The different forms of noise, such as loud music or machinery noise that people are exposed to throughout their lives, can eventually cause damage to the sensory hair cells in the ears. Some medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can cause damage to the delicate ear structures. Even medications can affect the ability to hear. Excessive amounts of wax in the ears can also impair hearing. Certain types of infections in women can lead to hearing impairment in their babies.

Individuals with impaired hearing do not have to live with the problem. New hearing devices are continually being developed to help make the most of the hearing you have. Comprehensive testing and evaluation by a hearing professional can help you to find the right device for your needs. If you have questions regarding hearing impairment and hearing care, call us at (888) 210-5846 for further information.