Risk Factors For Ear Diseases
While these types of ear diseases can affect anyone, several factors might put you at a higher risk.
- Family history: If your relatives have a history of frequent ear infections and disease, you may be prone to experience similar symptoms.
- Allergies: Frequent colds and stuffy noses can lead to fluid buildup, increasing your odds of developing ear inflammation and infection.
- Preexisting medical conditions: Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as compromised immune systems or craniofacial abnormalities may experience a higher rate of ear infection and disease.
- Smoking: Exposure to cigarette smoke can cause fluid buildup in the middle ear, potentially affecting hearing loss and leading to recurring ear infections.
If one or more of these risk factors applies to you, an ear disease is not inevitable. However, youll want to pay closer attention to any ear disease signs and symptoms and seek care quickly.
Devices To Help With Hearing Loss
Your doctor or specialist may suggest you get a hearing aid. Hearing aids are electronic, battery-run devices that make sounds louder. There are many types of hearing aids. Before buying a hearing aid, find out if your health insurance will cover the cost. Also, ask if you can have a trial period so you can make sure the device is right for you. An audiologist or hearing aid specialist will show you how to use your hearing aid.
Assistive-listening devices, mobile apps, alerting devices, and cochlear implants can help some people with hearing loss. Cochlear implants are electronic devices for people with severe hearing loss. They dont work for all types of hearing loss. Alert systems can work with doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm clocks to send you visual signals or vibrations. For example, a flashing light can let you know someone is at the door or the phone is ringing. Some people rely on the vibration setting on their cell phones to alert them to calls.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are a new category of regulated hearing devices that adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss will be able to buy without a prescription. OTC hearing aids will make certain sounds louder to help people with hearing loss listen, communicate, and take part more fully in daily activities. OTC hearing aids are expected to become available in stores and online in the next few years.
What Research Does The Nidcd Support On Sudden Deafness
Since so little is known about the causes of most cases of SSHL, researchers are considering different types, risk factors, and causes of SSHL. For instance, researchers are studying how changes in the inner ear, such as disrupted blood flow or inflammation, may contribute to hearing loss. Researchers are also testing new ways to use imaging to help diagnose SSHL and potentially detect its causes.
NIDCD-funded researchers are also trying to improve ways of dispensing drugs into the inner ear by intratympanic injections. Scientists are developing ways to infuse drugs into tiny microspheres that can slowly release the drug. This would allow doctors to give a single injection of a slow-releasing drug into the ear rather than several injections of a traditional fast-releasing drug. Another team of scientists is studying the use of magnets to push drug-infused particles into and throughout the inner ear, distributing the drug more evenly and effectively. Visit the NIH Clinical Research Trials and You website to read about these and other clinical trials that are recruiting volunteers.
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The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Diabetes
Research has established a connection between Diabetes and Sensorineural Hearing loss. Chronic Hyperglycaemia or continuous high levels of blood glucose is the primary reason. High levels of blood glucose cause Microangiopathy. Microangiopathy causes the very tiny blood vessels to break. It also results in thickening of the wall in some blood vessels. This restricts the blood flow to the parts connected by these tiny blood vessels or arteries. Our ear is one such organ which is fed by small blood vessels. The restricted blood supply damages the delicate Hair cells causing Sensorineural Hearing loss. This is similar to how Diabetes affects the kidneys and the eyes.
Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
As stated above, the inner ear has two sections, one for hearing and the other for balance . For this article, we are mostly concerned with hearing loss due to disorders in the cochlea but some conditions affecting hearing also affect balance.
Its also the case that tinnitus can accompany almost all causes of hearing loss, especially those arising in the cochlea and/or centrally.
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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
Can Obesity Cause Hearing Loss
Though awareness about a healthy lifestyle is spreading, Obesity still remains a major problem. The current lifestyle is the main cause of Obesity. Though remote control, Apps, automation and fast foods has made life easy, it has also reduced our physical activity. Obesity is a sign of poor health and can cause Hearing loss.
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How Is Hearing Loss Managed Or Treated
Hearing loss treatments often depend on the type and degree of hearing loss. Treatments include:
- Hearing assist devices: These devices help restore hearing. Hearing aids are devices worn on or inside the ear to amplify sound. Healthcare providers surgically implant cochlear implants into the inner ear to treat inner ear hearing loss.
- Hearing rehabilitation: Also called audiologic rehabilitation, this therapy helps you adjust to hearing loss and hearing aids. A therapist also can help you learn to use visual cues and lip reading to improve communication.
- Listening devices: Devices can make it easier to hear the telephone, television or videos on your computer.
- Medications: Hearing loss caused by ear infections may improve with antibiotics. Corticosteroids can ease the swelling of cochlear hair cells after exposure to loud noise. If medications are causing your hearing loss, your provider may prescribe a different drug.
- Surgery: Your provider may place ear tubes in the eardrum. Ear tubes treat chronic middle ear infections that contribute to hearing loss. Providers also perform surgeries to remove tumors, repair birth defects and place cochlear implants.
Four Levels Of Deafness
There are four levels of deafness or hearing impairment. These are:
- Mild deafness or mild hearing impairment: The person can only detect sounds between 25 and 29 decibels . They may find it hard to understand the words other people are saying, especially if there is a lot of background noise.
- Moderate deafness or moderate hearing impairment: The person can only detect sounds between 40 and 69 dB. Following a conversation using hearing alone is very difficult without using a hearing aid.
- Severe deafness: The person only hears sounds above 70 to 89 dB. A severely deaf person must either lip-read or use sign language in order to communicate, even if they have a hearing aid.
- Profound deafness: Anybody who cannot hear a sound below 90dB has profound deafness. Some people with profound deafness cannot hear anything at all, at any decibel level. Communication is carried out using sign language, lip-reading, or reading and writing.
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Whats The Difference Between Hearing Loss And Deafness
A person with hearing loss can still hear sounds well enough to participate in conversations. They can improve their hearing ability through hearing aids or other treatments.
Someone who is deaf can hear very little or nothing at all. Hearing aids and devices dont help. A person who is deaf may use sign language to communicate.
Why Do People Get Mnires Disease
Many theories exist about what happens to cause Ménières disease, but no definite answers are available. Some researchers think that Ménières disease is the result of constrictions in blood vessels similar to those that cause migraine headaches. Others think Ménières disease could be a consequence of viral infections, allergies, or autoimmune reactions. Because Ménières disease appears to run in families, it could also be the result of genetic variations that cause abnormalities in the volume or regulation of endolymph fluid.
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Certain Types Of Ear Diseases Can Cause Conductive Hearing Loss
As previously mentioned, hearing loss that is the result of certain types of ear diseases and ear infections is called conductive hearing loss. Since a middle ear infection involves the buildup of fluid and the obstruction of your eardrum, it can thwart sounds from moving through your middle ear and result in conductive hearing loss. Wax buildup and a hole in your eardrum can also lead to conductive hearing loss.
How Is Hearing Loss Diagnosed
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. They check for signs of infection or other issues that could cause hearing loss.
To measure hearing loss, a healthcare provider performs an audiogram. This hearing test measures which types of sounds you can hear. The test measures:
- Configuration: How well you hear high-pitched and low-pitched sounds.
- Degree: Measured in terms of normal, slight to severe or profound hearing loss.
- Type: Constructive, sensorineural or mixed.
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Understanding The Symptoms And Treatments Of Ear Diseases
Our team of experts at Houston Sinus & Allergy provides several popular treatment methods for common ear diseases. Beyond prescribing antibiotics, we may recommend methods such as:
- Ear tubes.;Often used to treat chronic ear infections,;tubes placed in the eardrum;help streamline the flow of air to the middle ear. This treatment can help to equalize pressure, reduce fluid buildup and improve hearing. Depending on the specifics of your condition, ear tubes can be placed temporarily or on a long-term basis.
- Ear cleaning.;A buildup of ear wax, debris and water can cause uncomfortable ear diseases and infections. A;thorough professional ear cleaning treatment;will clear out unwanted particles, helping to resolve symptoms such as ringing noises, hearing difficulty and ear pressure.
- Otowick placement.;Our specialists regularly;treat swollen ear canals;by administering antibiotic drops through a sponge. This deep ear treatment can help heal infections and reduce swelling quickly.
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.
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Causes Of Hearing Loss In Adults
You can inherit hearing loss from your family. It is also common for hearing loss to happen as you get older. There are other causes described below. Hearing loss may happen by itself or with tinnitus, or ringing in your ears.
Some causes of hearing loss in adults include:
Ménière’s disease. This is an inner ear problem. The cause of Ménière’s disease is not known. It usually starts in people between 30 and 50 years old. A person with this disease will often have sensorineural hearing loss. Dizziness and ringing in the ear are common. Sensitivity to loud sounds may also happen. The hearing loss comes and goes, but over time some loss becomes permanent.
Autoimmune inner ear disease. An autoimmune disorder is one where your body attacks itself. This type of hearing loss happens fast. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you suddenly lose your hearing. Medical treatment can help keep hearing loss to a minimum.
Ototoxic medications. There are some medicines that can cause hearing loss. You should talk with your doctor about the medicines you take. Some medicines that may impact hearing include the following:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as streptomycin, neomycin, or kanamycin
- Large amounts of aspirin
The Risks Of Ignoring Symptoms Of Ear Disease
Once youve noticed any of these ear disease symptoms, its important to act quickly. Some earaches may go away on their own but others can grow into longer lasting problems if not treated properly.
Ear disease is often uncomfortable. Depending on the specific condition, you may feel a strong pressure or dull ache in your ear that radiates throughout your head. You could also experience dizziness, ringing noises or nausea.
However, discomfort and pain arent the worst-case scenarios. Ear diseases left undiagnosed and untreated can lead to more serious health issues over time.
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Sensorineural Hearing Loss Causes
Exposure to loud noise
Loud noise results as the poison to your ears which destroys the sensory hair of your ear making them unable to listen. Exposure to loud noise above 80 dB can cause hearing loss. So, ear protection is recommended to use while going to loud concerts, ride a bike, during gunshots and bomb blasts.
Autoimmune inner ear disease
Autoimmune inner ear disease is a syndrome of progressive hearing loss and/or dizziness that is caused by antibodies or immune cells. It attacks the inner ear and causes hearing loss. In most cases, the symptoms of tinnitus is seen which occurs over a few months. Autoimmune inner ear disease is mostly misunderstood as Menieres disease but has different causes and symptoms than Autoimmune.
Hearing loss that runs in the family
The sensorineural hearing loss causes due to hereditary problems. If the hearing loss runs in the family than at a specific age you will get suffer from hearing loss.
Aging is the most common cause of deafness. One out of three people age 65-74 has some level of hearing loss. Common conditions that can increase the risk of deafness in elderly people are high blood pressure, diabetes, or the use of certain medications harmful to the ear.
Menieres disease an inner ear disease that causes episodes of vertigo. These episodes can be regular or infrequent according to their occurrence. You might have symptoms of dizziness, nausea, hearing loss, and cold sweat in Menieres disease.
Types Of Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells are damaged perhaps due to age, noise damage or something else. Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the pathways from your inner ear to your brain. Most times, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be corrected medically or surgically, but can be treated and helped with the use of hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear perhaps due to fluid, tumors, earwax or even ear formation. This obstruction prevents sound from getting to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated surgically or with medicine.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is just what it sounds like a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
As with any medical condition, its best to know what you have before deciding what to do about it. A consultation with a hearing professional can help determine the type, cause and degree of your hearing loss. .
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When To Get Medical Help
A GP can help;if you think you’re losing your hearing.
- if you or your child suddenly lose hearing , call a GP or NHS 111;as soon as possible
- if you think your or your child’s hearing is getting;gradually worse, make an appointment to see a GP
- if you’re concerned;about a;friend’s or family member’s hearing, encourage them to see a GP
The GP will ask about your symptoms and look inside your ears;using a small handheld torch with a magnifying lens. They can also do some simple checks of your hearing.
If needed, they can refer you to a specialist for more hearing tests.
Location Of Endolymphatic Sac
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What Are The Treatment Options For Hearing Loss
If you develop hearing loss due to a buildup of wax in the ear canal, you can remove the wax at home. Over-the-counter solutions, including wax softeners, can remove wax from the ear. Syringes can also push warm water through the ear canal to remove the wax. Consult your doctor before attempting to remove any object stuck in your ear to avoid unintentionally damaging your ear.
For other causes of hearing loss, youll need to see your doctor. If your hearing loss is the result of an infection, your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics. If your hearing loss is due to other conductive hearing problems, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to receive a hearing aid or a cochlear implant.