Last time you dropped by, you read about congenital hearing loss. This week, we are wrapping up that discussion. Today, we are starting a series about the four main types of hearing loss.

Congenital hearing loss continued:

In many babies, genetics is the cause of hearing loss. Genetic hearing loss may develop later in life, not just at birth. It only takes one parent to have the genes for hearing loss, but both parents can have them.

The tricky part is, the mother and father may hear just fine but may pass on hearing loss through the genes. Some infants have a genetic syndrome that causes hearing loss such as the following:

  • Usher syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • Alport syndrome
  • Waardenburg syndrome

In the United States, babies undergo hearing tests at the hospital or by a healthcare professional following birth. Newborn hearing screening is a necessity to give your baby the best path for development socially and cognitively. When hearing loss goes unnoticed, it will effect other areas of life.

Acquired or onset hearing loss:

When a person experiences hearing loss later in life, not at birth, it is referred to as acquired or onset hearing loss. A person can experience hearing loss at any age. This is why it is very necessary to get regularly examined.

Hearing testing is a great way for doctors to monitor you gradual hearing loss. This way, if they know how good you could hear ten years ago, they will be able to measure how much hearing you have lost. From there, the ENT doctor can form a treatment plan or recommend hearing devices.

According to the World Health Organization, infectious diseases such as meningitis, measles, and mumps cause hearing loss. Chronic ear infections will cause hearing damage as we have mentioned in the past. Collection of fluid in the ear, otitis media, will also cause lasting hearing loss.

Causes of acquired hearing loss continued:

Ototoxic medicines are medicines that are toxic to the ears and hearing. Some prescriptions must be taken for cancer, tuberculosis, malaria, and neonatal infections, but unfortunately, they may leave a person with hearing loss. Activity such as attending loud sporting events, concerts, or nightclubs will leave a person with lasting hearing damage.

Sometimes it is immediate, while other times it is gradually onset. An injury to the head or ear can cause hearing loss. For example, during a lacrosse game, the ball is thrown very hard and hits a child’s ear, this can leave the child with hearing loss. Similarly, a car accident can do the same.

Certain jobs are in exceptionally loud environments due to large, powerful machinery. Constructions zones are a perfect example of an environment that may cause hearing loss. Be sure to wear ear protection in loud environments or you may have to wear hearing aids later in life.

Natural substances such as ear wax can build up and create hearing loss. Other foreign bodies may block the ear canal as well. Lastly, over time the body may just age and cause hearing loss due to the degeneration of cells.

Come back next time as we continue our series. Make an appointment to come speak to our hearing specialists. Stay safe and healthy!

Staff Writer


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