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09.04.2014

What causes loss of hearing in elderly, is depression a genetic disorder - Test Out

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Ongoing Exposure to Noise on the JobLong-term exposure to continuous loud noise can cause lasting hearing loss. Meniere's disease — This typically causes dizziness, hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and a sensation of fullness or stuffiness in one or both ears.
Drugs — Many prescription and nonprescription medications can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. If you have sudden, severe hearing loss, you will notice immediately that your ability to hear has decreased dramatically or disappeared totally in the affected ear. Drug-induced hearing loss — Stopping the problem medication may reverse hearing loss or prevent it from getting worse. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss — When the cause is unknown, this condition is usually treated with steroids. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs in most of us as we grow older. Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
Hearing depends on a series of events that change sound waves in the air into electrical signals. Once the vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to ripple, a traveling wave forms along the basilar membrane. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by long-term exposure to sounds that are either too loud or last too long. Conditions that are more common in older people, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can contribute to hearing loss. Rarely, age-related hearing loss can be caused by abnormalities of the outer ear or middle ear. Most older people have a combination of both age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss. An audiologist (aw-dee-AH-luh-jist) has specialized training in identifying and measuring the type and degree of hearing loss. A hearing aid specialist is someone who is licensed by your state to conduct and evaluate basic hearing tests, offer counseling, and fit and test hearing aids. Your treatment will depend on the severity of your hearing loss, so some treatments will work better for you than others. Bone anchored hearing systems bypass the ear canal and middle ear, and are designed to use your body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction.
Lip reading or speech reading is another option that helps people with hearing problems follow conversational speech. The NIDCD is supporting research on the causes of age-related hearing loss, including genetic factors. The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that provide information on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.


The most common reversible causes are severe buildup of earwax in the ear canal and acute infections of the external ear or middle ear. A vibrating tuning fork is placed in the middle of your forehead to help diagnose one-sided hearing loss.
Your doctor may recommend a hearing aid or an implant to improve your ability to communicate with others.
Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, respond to warnings, and hear phones, doorbells, and smoke alarms. Because the loss is gradual, if you have age-related hearing loss you may not realize that you’ve lost some of your ability to hear.
It can be difficult to distinguish age-related hearing loss from hearing loss that can occur for other reasons, such as long-term exposure to noise.
Medications that are toxic to the sensory cells in your ears (for example, some chemotherapy drugs) can also cause hearing loss. However, you can protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss by protecting your ears from sounds that are too loud and last too long.
The most important thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to seek advice from a health care provider. An otolaryngologist, sometimes called an ENT, will try to find out why you’re having trouble hearing and offer treatment options. You must be examined by a physician before you can be fitted for a hearing aid, although federal law allows you to sign a waiver if you don’t wish to be examined before you purchase an aid.
There are a number of devices and aids that help you hear better when you have hearing loss. The more friends and family you tell, the more people there will be to help you cope with your hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can happen because of a single brief burst of an extremely loud sound. Acoustic neuroma often causes dizziness and equilibrium problems in addition to gradual hearing loss.
A hearing aid amplifies sounds electronically and is effective for many people with age-related hearing loss. Hearing loss can also make it hard to enjoy talking with family and friends, leading to feelings of isolation.
This partition is called the basilar membrane because it serves as the base, or ground floor, on which key hearing structures sit. If your hearing loss is severe, your doctor may recommend a cochlear implant in one or both ears. Other NIDCD-supported work is exploring medications that may reduce or prevent noise-induced and age-related hearing loss.
Your doctor will want to rule out the possibility that medications may be causing your hearing loss.


Hearing aids today are very small, so small that other people often do not notice you are wearing them.
Avoiding loud noises, reducing the amount of time you're exposed to loud noise, and protecting your ears with ear plugs or ear muffs are easy things you can do to protect your hearing and limit the amount of hearing you might lose as you get older.
You might want to start with your primary care physician, an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, or a hearing aid specialist. Be sure to ask for a trial period with your hearing aid and understand the terms and conditions of the trial period. Scientists supported by the NIDCD are also developing and refining devices that can be used to help people with age-related hearing loss. Work with your hearing aid provider until you are comfortable with putting on and removing the hearing aid, adjusting the volume level, and changing the batteries.
Injury or Pressure ChangesSevere head trauma can dislocate middle-ear bones or cause nerve damage, causing permanent hearing loss.
Sudden changes in pressure -- from flying or scuba diving -- can lead to damage to the eardrum, middle ear, or inner ear and hearing loss.
Chronic DiseaseCertain chronic diseases that are not directly related to the ear can cause hearing loss.
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also can be linked to some forms of hearing loss.
This causes the eardrum and tiny bones, called the hammer and anvil, in the middle ear to vibrate. Tumors and GrowthsNoncancerous growths, including osteomas, exostoses, and benign polyps, can block the ear canal, causing hearing loss. Acoustic neuroma (an inner ear tumor shown here), grows on the hearing and balance nerve in the inner ear.
For more hearing loss information from WebMD, click "Next." Childhood IllnessMany childhood illnesses can cause hearing loss. Ear infections can cause the middle ear to fill with fluid and cause hearing loss that usually clears when the infection and fluid are gone. Diseases known to affect hearing in children include chickenpox, encephalitis, influenza, measles, meningitis, and mumps. Though congenital hearing loss often runs in families, it can occur with maternal diabetes or an infection when pregnant. Hearing loss can also develop if a newborn is premature or from other causes such as trauma during birth resulting in the infant not getting enough oxygen.
Usually, age-related hearing loss is caused by the progressive loss of inner-ear hair cells.



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