A-) Causes of potential Hearing Loss
- Exposure to loud noise (preventable but not reversible – see
more about prevention)
- Aging (presbycusis)
- Head trauma
- Virus or disease
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Ménière’s disease
- Fluid in the middle ear from colds
- Ear infection (otitis media – an infection of the middle ear in
which an accumulation of fluid may interfere with the movement of
the eardrum and ossicles)
- Poor Eustachian tube function
- Perforated eardrum
- Benign tumors
- Impacted earwax
- Infection in the ear canal
- Foreign object in the ear
- Otosclerosis (a hereditary disorder in which a bony growth
forms around a small bone in the middle ear, preventing it from
vibrating when stimulated by sound; read more at NIDCD
- Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging,
disease, and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to
have conversations with friends and family. They may also have
trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings,
and hearing doorbells and alarms.
B-) Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65
and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has
difficulty hearing. But, some people may not want to admit they
have trouble hearing.
Older people who can’t hear well may become depressed, or they
may withdraw from others because they feel frustrated or
embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. Sometimes,
older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive,
or uncooperative because they don’t hear well.
Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a
greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal
hearing. Cognitive abilities (including memory and concentration)
decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older
adults with normal hearing. Treating hearing problems may be
important for cognitive health.
Signs of Hearing Loss:---
Some people have a hearing problem and don’t realize it.
- 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 Can’t understand when women
and children speak to you
Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss comes in many forms. It can range from a mild
loss, in which a person misses certain high-pitched sounds, such as
the voices of women and children, to a total loss of hearing.
There are two general categories of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the
inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach
the inner ear. The cause may be earwax buildup, fluid, or a
punctured eardrum. Medical treatment or surgery can usually restore
conductive hearing loss.
Sudden Hearing Loss
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or sudden deafness, is a
rapid loss of hearing. It can happen to a person all at once or
over a period of up to 3 days. It should be considered a medical
emergency. If you or someone you know experiences sudden
sensorineural hearing loss, visit a doctor immediately.
- Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis)
Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, comes on gradually
as a person gets older. It seems to run in families and may occur
because of changes in the inner ear and auditory nerve. Presbycusis
may make it hard for a person to tolerate loud sounds or to hear
what others are saying.
- Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
Tinnitus is also common in older people. It is typically
described as ringing in the ears, but it also can sound like
roaring, clicking, hissing, or buzzing. It can come and go. It
might be heard in one or both ears, and it may be loud or soft.
Tinnitus is sometimes the first sign of hearing loss in older
adults. Tinnitus can accompany any type of hearing loss and can be
a sign of other health problems, such as high blood pressure,
allergies, or as a side effect of medications.