Did you know that approximately 37.5 million adults in America suffer from significant hearing loss? It’s one of the most common conditions that people face because there are so many contributing factors.
For the most part, doctors and researchers understand many of the possible hearing loss causes, but they are still conducting research to figure out all possible causes as well as how to treat and prevent hearing loss.
Today, we’re going to take a look at seven medical conditions that cause hearing loss. We’ll split these conditions into two groups: non-hereditary and hereditary hearing loss in adults.
Genetic mutations can increase someone’s likelihood of experiencing some degree of hearing loss – especially when hearing loss is caused due to age. Examples of inherited conditions that can cause hearing loss include:
In this section, we will discuss the medical conditions that cause hearing loss in adults that are not inherited. Keep in mind that these are not the only medical conditions that cause hearing loss, but they are the most common causes.
Hearing loss isn’t the same thing for everyone, nor is it caused by one singular cause – it’s a complex problem with causes that can be inherited, like Usher’s Syndrome, or it could be caused by chronic ear infections or meningitis.
When someone experiences profound hearing loss, it’s easy to recognize because there will be a big difference in hearing, but it’s the mild hearing loss that often goes undetected.
If you’ve ever noticed that you or someone you love always has the television or radio turned up really loudly or ask for you to repeat what you said a few times, they may be suffering from some degree of hearing loss.
If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, you will want to go to your doctor as soon as you can. There, your doctor will use a little hand-held instrument called an otoscope to examine your ear.
They will look at the ear canal to make sure it isn’t blocked and you don’t have an ear infection. They may even use a tuning fork to determine whether your hearing loss is conductive (sounds cannot get into the inner ear) or sensorineural (permanent damage to the inner ear).
Once your doctor has diagnosed you, will have options on how to treat it. For those with sensorineural hearing loss, people will be outfitted with some type of hearing aid. For those with conductive hearing loss, their hearing loss may be treated by removing whatever is blocking the ear canal, such as wax or fluid.
To learn more about hearing aids, please check out this in-depth guide. The more you understand about hearing loss and what your options are, the better you’ll be able to communicate your concerns to your doctor.