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Senior discussions disease and hearing loss

What Types of Diseases Can Cause Hearing Loss?

The prospect of hearing loss can be frightening, especially if you are frequently exposed to loud noises or have a family history of it. It can also be caused by various medical conditions and illnesses. Having a better understanding of hearing loss can help you take precautions to protect your hearing now and in the future.

Hearing Loss: An Introduction

Generally speaking, hearing loss happens when someone can't hear as well as someone with normal hearing. The diagnostic threshold is usually a difference of 20 dB or more in both ears. Hearing loss can impact one or both ears and be labeled ranging from mild to severe.

When hearing loss isn't addressed, it can drastically impact your daily life. Speech and communication become more arduous, and cognitive issues can result. The condition is frequently associated with stigma, loneliness, and social isolation. Education and employment opportunities or tasks become cumbersome in many instances.

Three Kinds of Hearing Loss

There are three primary categories of hearing loss:

  • Conducive: This happens when issues prevent proper conduction of sound waves through the ossicles, tympanic membrane, or outer ear canal.
  • Sensorineural: This type of hearing loss happens due to vestibulocochlear nerve or cochlear auditory dysfunction.
  • Mixed: Some cases of hearing loss might involve damage to the conductive pathways, sensory hairs, and nerves simultaneously.

Diseases and Conditions Affecting Hearing

Hearing loss isn't always based on aging, family history, or exposure to loud noises. Other potential causes include the following:

  • Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that grows right on the hearing and balance nerve
  • Diabetes makes it twice as likely for a person to suffer hearing loss gradually
  • Measles is an infection from a virus that can cause hearing loss temporarily or permanently
  • Meniere's disease disturbs balance and hearing
  • Meningitis of a bacterial nature is a common cause
  • Mumps is an infection that can lower the volume and clarity of what the brain hears
  • Otosclerosis is a rare condition that happens more in women than men
  • Sexually transmitted diseases might cause hearing loss but are often treatable when detected early

Preventing and Managing Hearing Loss

Avoid loud sounds and limit your exposure to them; turn down the volume of electronics you listen to or move away from sound sources. Utilize hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs. Choose quieter versions of vehicles, toys, and power tools. Quit smoking and tobacco products, and avoid secondhand smoke; nicotine can damage your inner ears and the hair cells you need for hearing.

The Importance of Early Detection

The importance of early detection is hard to overstate. When the condition is detected early, healthcare professionals can help improve the quality of life, educational outcomes, employment prospects, and communication of those afflicted. It's a chance to prevent social and developmental issues, such as dementia and cognitive decline.

Professional Help Is Available

Hearing loss can run in some families, be a part of the aging process, or result from external stimuli you're exposed to. If you have any concerns about your hearing, seek professional advice at Beltone Dallas Fort Worth. Testing and treatment are possible.