Preventing Deafness And Hearing Loss
There are no surefire ways to prevent hearing loss and deafness. Certain congenital conditions leave no room for prevention, especially if the mother isn’t aware she is carrying the virus. Likewise, it can be difficult to know you are suffering from a latent virus, as they show little to no symptoms. Getting tested regularly and staying on top of your health is the best preventative measure in these cases.
It is also important that you get yourself and your children vaccinated. While controversy has spread regarding this practice, even a single case of mumps or measles can result in acquired hearing loss. It is better to be safe than sorry in these situations, especially when your hearing is at risk.
Wider immunity should also be taken into account in these situations even if your children recover from measles, an immunodeficient child might catch the virus and suffer serious health issues.
Along with preventing viral infections, it is also necessary to protect your ears. Avoid spending a lot of time in noisy environments and use protection while working in loud conditions. Get professional audiograms every few years, and use online hearing tests as benchmarks. While you cannot fully prevent hearing loss, you can shield yourself against it.
If you dont know where to get a professional audiogram, you can have a look at our Signia store locator to find the nearest or most convenient location.
Can You Prevent Ear Infections
Because colds are very infectious and easily spread among children, it can be very hard to prevent your child from getting sick. However, there are risk factors you can control:
- Limit your childs exposure to secondhand smoke
- Make sure your childand youare vaccinated against the flu every year
- Follow good hygiene habits, like frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer
- Teach your child to cough into her elbow, not her hands
- Wear swim ear plugs when swimming
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Chronic Kidney Disease
The Kidneys clean up the toxins in the body. Toxins collect in the body if the Kidneys are not functioning normally. These toxins damage the sensitive nerves in the Inner ear. The tissue structure in the Kidneys is similar to the inner ear. The elements damaging to the Kidney tissue also cause damage to the ear tissue. Electrolyte disturbance is also a cause of Sensorineural Hearing loss. Certain medicines used for the treatment of CKD are harmful or Ototoxic to the ear.
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How Glandular Fever Is Diagnosed
To diagnose glandular fever, your GP will first ask about your symptoms before carrying out a physical examination. They will look for characteristic signs of glandular fever, such as swollen glands, tonsils, liver and spleen.
Your GP may also recommend a blood test to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out infections that can cause similar symptoms, such as cytomegalovirus , rubella, mumps and toxoplasmosis.
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- Hearing loss can range from mild to profound and has many different causes, including injury, disease, genetic defects and the ageing process.
- Hearing loss at birth is known as congenital hearing loss, while hearing loss that occurs after birth is called acquired hearing loss.
- The most common cause of acquired hearing loss is noise, which accounts for over one quarter of people affected by hearing loss.
- You can protect your hearing by reducing your exposure to loud noise or wearing suitable protection such as ear muffs or ear plugs.
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Tinnitus Is Often Associated With Hearing Loss
Tinnitus means a sensation of noises in the ears or head in the absence of any environmental sounds. These sounds can range from ringing, buzzing, whooshing, whistling, roaring, humming or cricket sounds.
Tinnitus is not an illness or disease. Some of the triggers of tinnitus include middle ear infections and damage to the ear from loud noises. Tinnitus may occur on its own, or in conjunction with hearing loss.
How Do Allergies Affect Hearing Loss
Allergies and Hearing Loss. The immune system responds to allergies by producing antibodies that release the compound histamine. Histamine causes itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose essentially, hay fever. This excess mucus production can obstruct the Eustachian tube, which is the drainage passage for the middle ear.
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Home Remedies For An Ear Infection
If you or your child has a typical ear infection without severe symptoms, you might try some of these home remedies:
- Pain relievers. A dose of over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce the pain and fever.
- Compresses. Whether you prefer a warm compress or an ice pack, this method is safe for children and adults. You can even alternate them if doing so helps you feel better.
- A change in sleeping position. Try putting extra pillows under your head to help your ear drain when you go to sleep at night.
- Distraction. If your child is really fussy, try a distraction technique to take their mind off their painful ear. A favorite toy, snack, or game might do the trick.
Causes Of Hearing Loss
If youre having trouble hearing, dont suffer in silence. There are many different causes of hearing loss, and some can be successfully treated with medicine, surgery, or a hearing aid. The issue could be rooted in your inner ear, your middle ear, your outer ear, or even your auditory nerve. Sometimes hearing loss is genetic and unavoidable. Other times it results from an unfortunate accident or frequent exposure to loud noise. Discuss the causes of hearing loss with your audiologist to determine the source of your problem and explore potential solutions.
There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Conductive hearing loss results from an issue in the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is typically caused by damage to the hair cells of the inner ear, but it can also result from auditory nerve damage. Finally, as you might have guessed, mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural issues.
Hearing loss can worsen gradually or occur very suddenly. Sometimes it affects both ears, and sometimes it only targets one. Whatever the details may be, be sure to consult an audiologist as soon as you notice symptoms of hearing loss.
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Ear Candles To Remove Earwax Blockage
Ear candles are considered an unsafe way to remove earwax build-up. This method involves putting one end of a candle inside the ear and lighting the other end in order to melt and draw out earwax. Dangers include the candle wax dripping and burning the skin, candle wax lodging in the ear, and the hot wax sticking to the eardrum and causing permanent damage and hearing loss.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
There is no need to be isolated from others if you have glandular fever as most people will already be immune to the Epstein-Barr virus .
You can return to work, college or school as soon as you feel well enough. There is little risk of spreading the infection to others as long as you follow commonsense precautions while you are ill, such as not kissing other people or sharing utensils.
It is also important to thoroughly clean anything that may have been contaminated by saliva until you have recovered.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How can I keep my child comfortable at night with the pain of an ear infection?
- Is there drainage with an ear infection?
- What is the difference between an ear infection and swimmers ear?
- Is my child a candidate for ear tubes?
- What are the risks and benefits of surgically inserting tubes inside my childs middle ear?
- Should my child get regular hearing tests if they have frequent ear infections?
What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.
Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.
If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.
Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.
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Causes Of Glandular Fever
Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus . EBV is most often spread through the saliva of someone who carries the infection.
For example, it can be spread through:
- kissing glandular fever is sometimes referred to as the “kissing disease”
- sharing food and drinks
- exposure to coughs and sneezes
Small children may be infected by chewing toys that have been contaminated with the virus.
When you come into contact with infected saliva, the virus can infect the cells on the lining of your throat.
The infection is then passed into your white blood cells before spreading through the lymphatic system.
This is a series of glands found throughout your body that allows many of the cells that your immune system needs to travel around the body.
After the infection has passed, people develop lifelong immunity to the virus and most won’t develop symptoms again.
Many people are first exposed to EBV during childhood, when the infection causes few symptoms and often goes unrecognised before it eventually passes.
Young adults may be most at risk of glandular fever because they might not have been exposed to the virus when they were younger, and the infection tends to produce more severe symptoms when you’re older.
Recurrent Or Chronic Ear Infections
For recurrent middle ear infections and lingering middle ear fluid that causes temporary hearing loss, an otolaryngologist may recommend a minor surgical procedure known as ear tube surgery, to insert a tubes into the eardrums.
This is usually an outpatient procedure. A doctor will typically make a small incision in the eardrum and place a small tube. The tube, also called a pressure equalization tube, aerates the middle ear space through the ear canal to allow any trapped fluids to dissipate. This procedure has become less common in recent years, reserved for children who are having trouble hearing as a result of recurring middle ear infections.
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How Do I Prevent Hearing Loss
- Noise-induced hearing loss is usually permanent and progresses with each exposure. Use proper ear protection when working around loud noises.
- Never put foreign objects in the ear.
- Do not use cotton swabs to probe or clean the ear canals.
- Do not put cotton balls or liquids into the ear unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Treat middle ear infections as soon as possible. Hearing loss may be prevented by prompt treatment. Most doctors believe that fluid in the middle ear lasting longer than 6-12 weeks should be drained and tympanostomy tubes placed in the middle ear.
- If you are taking medications that can cause hearing loss, your doctor should carefully monitor their levels with blood tests.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Obesity
Obesity does not directly affect Hearing loss, but it can certainly increase the chances of Hearing loss. The heart pumps blood to each and every organ in the body. Blood reaches our inner ear through small arteries and capillaries. In an obese person, the heart has to pump harder to deliver blood to the smallest of the organ. Over a period of time, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood. There is a gradual reduction of blood supply to the smaller organs. In this case, the reduced blood supply to the inner ear causes the hair cells to die. This reduces the total number of active hair cells and causes Sensorineural Hearing loss.
Obesity is responsible for Heart disease and diabetes which further damage the hearing.
A healthy lifestyle is very important. Do find time to take care of your body.
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Do Allergies Cause Hearing Loss Or Tinnitus
How Allergies Can Trigger Hearing Loss And Tinnitus. When it comes to allergies and hearing loss, generally, temporary conductive hearing loss is the result. The impact of allergies is due to how your immune system reacts to allergens. As the immune system senses allergens, it creates antibodies which release histamine.
Treatment Of Sudden Hearing Loss
Treatment of sudden hearing loss focuses on the causative disorder when known. Fistulas are explored and repaired surgically when bed rest fails to control symptoms.
In viral and idiopathic cases, hearing returns to normal in about 50% of patients and is partially recovered in others.
In patients who recover their hearing, improvement usually occurs within 10 to 14 days.
Recovery from an ototoxic drug varies greatly depending on the drug and its dosage. With some drugs , hearing loss resolves within 24 hours, whereas other drugs often cause permanent hearing loss if safe dosages have been exceeded.
For patients with idiopathic loss, many clinicians empirically give a course of glucocorticoids . Glucocorticoids can be given orally and/or by transtympanic injection. Direct transtympanic injection avoids the systemic side effects of oral glucocorticoids and appears equally effective except in profound hearing loss. There are data showing that using both oral and intratympanic steroids leads to better outcomes than either alone. Although clinicians often give antiviral drugs effective against herpes simplex , data show that such drugs do not affect hearing outcomes. There are some limited data suggesting that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be beneficial in idiopathic sudden hearing loss.
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How Do Allergy Doctors Diagnose An Ear Problemcaused By Allergies
Before you can obtain the propertherapy for your ear and hearing issues, you need to figure out ifthe issue is caused by an allergy or something else. If your familydoctor has ruled out an acute infection or damage, an allergy expertcan help you identify any allergens that may be affecting your ears.
Skin testing will very certainly beused by your allergy doctor. A puncture, injection, or patch is usedto deliver a small quantity of different possible allergens to yourskin in this type of testing. Youve identified the issue if yourskin responds to a specific allergy. Allergens can also be identifiedby the antibodies they produce in the blood.
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How Does Earwax Cause Hearing Loss
Earwax, also known as cerumen, is an important and natural part of your body’s defences. It protects your ear by trapping dead skin, dirt and other particles so that they can’t enter deeper into the ear canal. It also slows the growth of bacteria.
Normally, earwax comes out of the ear naturally. But sometimes the earwax becomes lodged in the ear canal, blocking it partially or completely. This blockage can become a problem, impairing hearing and causing other health issues.
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Can Thyroid Disease Cause Hearing Loss
The Thyroid gland in our body produces hormones. These hormones are responsible for metabolism and other body functions. In case of a Thyroid disease, there is a reduction in the production of hormones. The reduced production of Hormones is medically known Hypothyroidism. The thyroid secretes a hormone known as Thyroxine. Thyroxine is responsible for the development of the Cochlea.
Causes Of Temporary Hearing Loss
Some of the causes of temporary hearing loss include:
- wax the ear canal secretes cerumen, a waxy substance that helps to protect and lubricate the tissues. A build-up of wax can block the ear canal, leading to short-term conductive hearing loss
- foreign object similarly to ear wax, a foreign object stuck inside the ear canal can temporarily cause hearing loss
- excess mucus the common cold, a bout of flu, hay fever or other allergies can cause an excess of mucus that may block the Eustachian tube of the ear
- ear infections including otitis externa and otitis media . Fluid and pus dont allow the full conduction of sound.
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How The Condition Progresses
Most symptoms of glandular fever will usually resolve within two or three weeks. Your throat will normally feel most sore for three to five days after symptoms start before gradually improving, and your fever will usually last 10 to 14 days.
Fatigue is the most persistent symptom and often lasts a few weeks, although some people may feel persistently fatigued for several months after the other symptoms have passed.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Hearing loss may not be immediately obvious after meningitis, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of impairment, especially in smaller children and babies. Signs of hearing impairment include the following:
- The baby may not be startled by sudden loud noises.
- Older infants, who should respond to familiar voices, show no reaction when spoken to.
- A young child may appear to favor one ear when spoken to, turning the “good” ear toward a sound they want to hear.
- Children should be using single words by 15 months and simple two-word sentences by 2 years. If they do not reach these milestones, hearing loss may be the cause.
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What Are Other Causes Of Ear Pain
Other causes of ear pain include:
- A sore throat.
- Teeth coming in in a baby.
- An infection of the lining of the ear canal. This is also called swimmers ear.
- Pressure build up in the middle ear caused by allergies and colds.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/16/2020.