Underlying Health Conditions that Result in Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often viewed as a natural part of aging or an effect of prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of noise. There may also be several other undiagnosed health conditions that may be causing your hearing loss. It is important to take a moment to see what other causes may result in hearing damage.
No matter what the reason is, hearing loss should never be neglected. You should have your hearing tested as soon as you notice signs of hearing loss. Early interventions provide the most promising results when it comes to hearing loss treatment.
Age is indeed the most prevalent factor that causes hearing loss in the elderly population. It is a known fact that our bodies break down slowly as we age, and this affects our hearing as well. The delicate hair follicles in our ears tend to die out with age, which can result in hearing loss.
The second most common reason for hearing loss is prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of loud noises. Any noise level that exceeds 85dB is considered unsafe for human hearing. Those who work in particularly noisy industries such as construction, mining, or manufacturing, are particularly prone to hearing loss due to noise exposure.
We cannot escape noise even when we are away from work. There are several household tools and equipment that can also be attributed to creating unsafe levels of loud noise. Examples of these are chain saws, lawn mowers, snow blowers, vacuum cleaners, blenders and even hair dryers.
It is highly recommended that you wear hearing protection such as ear plugs or ear muffs before engaging in noisy yard work such as mowing the lawn or snow blowing.
Another sneaky, well-hidden culprit of hearing loss is cardiovascular disease. People with heart disease had a 54% increased likelihood of having hearing loss. The ears need oxygenated blood in order to function, and heart disease restricts the flow of oxygenated blood all throughout the body, especially to the peripheral parts such as the ears. Without oxygen-rich blood, the delicate hair cells in the ears deteriorate and die, resulting in hearing loss.
People with diabetes are also other candidates for developing hearing loss. Several studies have found a link that shows that diabetics have double the likelihood of having hearing loss compared to those who do not have diabetes.
Cancer is one of those diseases which rob us of our well-being. Recent research also indicates that certain cancer medications may also rob us of our hearing. Some types of medications used in chemotherapy have been known to result in hearing loss due to their high levels of ototoxicity, which deems them unsafe for human hearing.
It is not only cancer medication that can cause hearing loss. Other common medications are also known culprits of causing hearing damage, and many of these medications may be present in your medicine cabinet right this minute! Among these dangerous drugs are Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Quinine, some types of antibiotics, and some medications for allergies and hypertension.
Some forms of hearing loss can actually be treated quite easily. These forms are known as conductive hearing loss, and result from physical obstructions within the ear canal. This can result from ear infections or too much earwax. A visit to the doctor’s office can help clear up these problems and restore your hearing to normal.