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What Causes Hearing And Vision Loss

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Diagnosing The Cause Of Vision Loss

Hearing and Vision Loss in the Elderly

Any time you have a change to your vision, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor. Many times, the cause could be as simple as a change to your refractive error, and perhaps you need new glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes, however, it could mean there is an eye disorder that requires treatment.

You should also see an eye doctor if you notice a change in vision in only one eye and not the other.

An eye doctor such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist will perform various tests to examine your vision loss. These could include:

  • Retinal exam: This is performed with drops that dilate, or widen, the pupil. This helps the doctor to see the retina in the back of the eye.
  • Visual field test: This assesses the vision you have in the eye and measures any blind spots.

Other tests performed will be specific for the potential cause of vision loss.

Sudden Loss Of Vision

Vision problem is a worldwide problem with more than 285 million individuals being visually impaired, according to WHO. Of these people, about 80 percent were completely avoidable or curable. However, if you experience sudden loss of vision, it can be terrifying. If you find yourself or know someone that is in this situation, you need to seek the attention of a doctor specializing in vision problems as soon as possible so that the problem can be properly diagnosed and possibly treated.

Hearing And Cognitive Health

Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing. Cognitive abilities decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older adults with normal hearing. Treating hearing problems may be important for cognitive health. See Whats the Connection Between Hearing and Cognitive Health?

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How Is Usher Syndrome Diagnosed In A Child

All newborn babies are screened for hearing problems. If a hearing problemis found in the newborn, the baby will have follow-up testing. Your child’shealthcare provider will test hearing, eyesight, and balance to diagnoseUsher syndrome. The tests include:

  • Electronystagmography . This test checks eye movements to help diagnose balance problems.

  • Vision testing. Different tests are used to test the eyesight of very young children.

  • Eye exam. An eye doctor will look at the retina during an eye exam.

  • Electroretinography . This test checks how the retina reacts to light. It is used to diagnose retinitis pigmentosa.

  • Hearing evaluation. A hearing specialist will examine the ears and do a series of tests to check your childs hearing.

One a child is diagnosed, he or she may have genetic testing to find outthe type of Usher syndrome.

What Research Is Being Conducted On Usher Syndrome

Does Hearing and Vision Loss Impact Your Brain Health ...

Researchers are trying to identify additional genes that cause Usher syndrome. Efforts will lead to improved genetic counseling and earlier diagnosis, and may eventually expand treatment options.

Scientists are also developing mouse models with characteristics similar to Usher syndrome. Research using mouse models will help determine the function of Usher genes and inform potential treatments.

Other areas of study include developing new methods for early identification of children with Usher syndrome, improving treatment strategies for children who use hearing aids or cochlear implants for hearing loss, and testing innovative intervention strategies to help slow or stop the progression of RP. Clinical researchers are also characterizing variability in balance among individuals with various types of Usher syndrome.

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Usher Syndrome: Vision Hearing And Balance Disorder

Usher syndrome is a disorder that commonly causes both vision and hearing loss. This genetic disorder is considered to be autosomal recessive, meaning that both parents must pass on the trait for your child to be born with this disorder. In other words, both parents either have the disorder or are carriers of the disorder.

While it is rare, only occurring in about 4 to 5 per 100,000 people, it is considered the most common cause of having both blindness and deafness and accounts for about 50 percent of these cases. There are three different types of Usher syndrome. Type I & II are unfortunately the most severe and most common forms. Type III, which is the least severe of the different types of Usher syndrome, only accounts for about 2 out of 100 cases unless you are of Finnish descent, and then it can account for as high as 40 percent of the cases.

Vision And Hearing: Use It Or Lose It

What’s the connection between vision and hearing?

Did you know that people who wear glasses are more likely to also have hearing loss? A research study was done by a group of scientists at the University of Sydney and the National Acoustics Laboratories in Australia. Their research showed that for each line of the opthalmologists’ eye chart that a volunteer could not see, there was an 18% increase in the likelihood of hearing loss. Certain types of eye disease can be linked to hearing loss. Both those suffering age-related macular degeneration and cataracts were more likely to suffer hearing loss than those without these disorders. Similarly, individuals who had a hearing loss were 1.5 times more likely to have problems with their eyesight.

So I’m just getting old?

Not necessarily. While it is true that changes in both vision and hearing become more common as we age, those are not the only reasons for a change in your vision or hearing. Common risk factors can predispose people to both of these sensory impairments. Examples of health issues that can lead to changes in both vision and hearing include stress, cigarette smoking, hardening of the arteries and diabetes.

It’s not bad enough yet, right?

How often should I get my hearing checked?

Ready to set up your baseline hearing test? Give our office a call at 410-672-1233 to schedule your appointment today!

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How Is Usher Syndrome Treated

Presently, there is no cure for Usher syndrome. Treatment involves managing hearing, vision, and balance problems. Early diagnosis helps tailor educational programs that consider the severity of hearing and vision loss and a childs age and ability. Treatment and communication services may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, auditory training, and/or learning American Sign Language. Independent-living training may include orientation and mobility training for balance problems, Braille instruction, and low-vision services.

Vitamin A may slow the progression of RP, according to results from a long-term clinical trial supported by the National Eye Institute and the Foundation Fighting Blindness.6 Based on the study, adults with a common form of RP may benefit from a daily supplement of 15,000 IU of the palmitate form of vitamin A. Patients should discuss this treatment option with their health care provider before proceeding. Because people with type 1 Usher syndrome did not take part in the study, high-dose vitamin A is not recommended for these patients.

General precautions for vitamin A supplementation:

What The Data Shows

Sensory Loss: Hearing and Vision

According to researchers, 33 percent of people over age 70 experience hearing loss, and 18 percent experience vision loss. They believe that since both conditions worsen with age, there is a correlation between their advancement and the loss of a persons functionality and mortality.

In fact, there are two theories about the connection between these sensory impairments and dementia: First, that vision and hearing loss result from similar physical processes that cause dementia. Second, that vision and hearing loss lead to social isolation, depression and physical inactivity all of which contribute to dementia.

The authors found that, of the 2,051 participants

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What Happens In Our Eyes As We Age

There are a range of changes in our eyes that occur as a result of age. For example, over time the whites of the eyes, or sclera, undergo changes due to exposure to ultraviolet light.

These changes include a yellowing or browning of the white of the eye due to fatty or cholesterol deposits in the conjunctiva the mucous membrane that covers the eye also related to ageing and exposure to ultraviolet light.

Over time, changes also occur in the conjunctiva, such as a thinning of the membrane. This often results in dry eye, a condition caused mainly by reduced production of tears and reduced mucous from the conjunctiva.

As we age, we often experience a decrease in the strength of our muscles. This is no different in the eye, and the muscles in our eyelids can become weaker over time. Reduced tone in the muscle that gives shape to our lens, as well as stiffening of the natural lens with age, causes presbyopia , necessitating the use of reading glasses.

Eye disorders that commonly occur in older adults include:

Among older Australians, cataract is the most common eye disease and cause of visual impairment , followed by age-related macular degeneration .

Can My Friends And Family Help Me

You and your family can work together to make living with hearing loss easier. Here are some things you can do:

  • Tell your friends and family about your hearing loss. The more friends and family you tell, the more people there will be to help you cope with your hearing loss.
  • Ask your friends and family to face you when they talk so that you can see their faces. If you watch their faces move and see their expressions, it may help you to understand them better.
  • Ask people to speak louder, but not shout. Tell them they do not have to talk slowly, just more clearly.
  • Turn off the TV or the radio when you aren’t actively listening to it.
  • Be aware of noise around you that can make hearing more difficult. When you go to a restaurant, for example, don’t sit near the kitchen or near a band playing music. Background noise makes it hard to hear people talk.

Working together to hear better may be tough on everyone for a while. It will take time for you to get used to watching people as they talk and for people to get used to speaking louder and more clearly. Be patient and continue to work together. Hearing better is worth the effort.

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Signs Of Hearing Loss

Some people have a hearing problem and dont realize it. You should see your doctor if you:

  • Have trouble hearing over the telephone
  • Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking
  • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying
  • Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complain
  • Have a problem hearing because of background noise
  • Think that others seem to mumble
  • Cant understand when women and children speak to you

What Causes Vision Loss In Usher Syndrome

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The retina is a tissue at the back of your eye that helps you see. The gene mutation in Usher syndrome affects the retina’s light-sensing cells called rods and cones. This condition is called retinitis pigmentosa or RP.

In RP, the retina’s light-sensing rods and cones slowly go bad, starting at the outer edges. As RP gets worse, the person loses peripheral vision first then central vision.

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Common Causes Of Vision Loss

The idea of losing your vision can be scary. After all, you rely on your vision every day. In the U.S., 32.2 million adults have experienced some sort of vision loss. Around the globe, there are an estimated 285 million people with vision impairment. Among those, 39 million are blind.

Some vision loss happens suddenly. Other times, it happens gradually. Partial blindness refers to limited vision, and complete blindness or blindness is when you cannot see anything, including light. Here is information on some of the most common causes of vision loss, including cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Verywell / Michela Buttignol

How Is Usher Syndrome Managed Or Treated

There is currently no cure for Usher syndrome, but there are many ways to manage the disease. Treatments focus on improving the ability to communicate and function independently. Possible therapies may include:

  • Hearing aids: People with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may benefit from hearing aids or other hearing assistive technology. These can be especially useful for children born with Type 2 or 3 Usher syndrome as they develop deafness later in life.
  • Cochlear implants: A cochlear implant can help restore some hearing in children with severe hearing loss. These are usually needed in children with Type 1 Usher syndrome.
  • Vision aids: There are several options beyond regular prescription glasses that can help you cope with vision loss.
  • Vitamin A supplements: There is some evidence that taking vitamin A supplements can help slow down retinitis pigmentosa. You should talk to your doctor first before starting to take vitamin A, especially if there is a chance you might be pregnant.
  • Clinical trials: There is a lot of ongoing research into new therapies to treat Usher syndrome. Talk to your healthcare provider about available clinical trials.

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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.


Treatments For Usher Syndrome

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There is no known cure for Usher syndrome, but there are ways to manage its effects on hearing, balance, and vision.

The most efficient treatment plans involve early identification and intervention through tailored educational programs to prepare the individual for employment and independent living. Educational programs for Usher consider the severity of the hearing and vision loss as well as the childs age and abilities.Treatment for hearing loss may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, American Sign Language, and speech therapy.

Treatment for balance difficulties may include physical and occupational therapy and orientation and mobility training. O& M training teaches the individual to get from point A to point B. It also helps him or her strengthen muscles, particularly the core, to improve balance.

Treatment for vision loss may include Braille instruction, auditory training, and low-vision services. Provided by an optometrist, low vision services can include the following: training to use optical and electronic devices correctly training to help use remaining vision more effectively and improving lighting and enhancing contrast.

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Syndromes Which Often Result In Combined Vision And Hearing Loss

Usher Syndrome is one disorder that comes to mind readily for professionals inboth the field of vision and hearing when they think of syndromes which result in dualsensory impairment or deaf-blindness. However, there are many syndromes that have bothvision and hearing impairment as part of the conditions that define the syndrome. It isimportant to be aware of these conditions, since one of the sensory disabilities is oftentimes more evident than the other. This situation makes it easy to overlook the impact ofthe combined vision and hearing loss.

Below some of the more common syndromes, which can manifest with both vision andhearing loss, are described. If you are interested in obtaining more detailed informationabout any of these conditions, you may contact:

National Organization for Rare DisordersP.O. Box 8923New Fairfield, CT 06812-1783 746-6518

Most of the information about these syndromes comes from reports provided by NORD. Theexception is the information on Congenital Rubella Syndrome which comes from a booklet,”Congenital Rubella Syndrome: Health Care Challenges” written by Dr. StevenParker from Boston University School of Medicine in collaboration with Perkins School forthe Blind, Helen Keller National Center and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Thispublication is available through Perkins School for the Blind.

What Causes Vision And Hearing Loss

4.4/5HearingVision Losscausesvision lossin-depth answer

Hearing and vision problems can affect brain healthFor people with hearing loss, even a small decrease in vision can affect the ability to lip-read and understand better what they hear. Those of us with more than just moderate hearing loss tend to take care of our hearing.

Additionally, how is vision and hearing affected by age? Aging can affect all of the senses, but usually hearing and vision are most affected. Devices such as glasses and hearing aids, or lifestyle changes can improve your ability to hear and see. As you age, structures inside the ear start to change and their functions decline. Your ability to pick up sounds decreases.

Accordingly, can your ears affect your vision?

The inner ear and the muscles that move your eyes are intimately connected through a reflex called the vestibulo-ocular reflex or VOR. For some people who have very poor inner ear function in both ears, they just cannot see clearly whenever they are in motion.

How common is it to be blind and deaf?

As far as it has been possible to count them, there are over 10,000 children in the United States who have been classified as deafblind . It has been estimated that the adult deafblind population numbers 35-40,000 . The causes of deafblindness are many.

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