Elk Valley Times

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Hearing loss in adults

Hearing loss is one of the most common problems that an adult can experience, particularly as one ages, and sometimes it can become a serious concern. If you think you may have a problem, the most important thing you can do is seek advice from a professional.

Genetics is among the most common causes of hearing loss, and while it can occur at any age, it tends to become more prevalent as we grow older. Presbycusis, which also seems to run in families, is a sensorineural hearing loss that can occur as you age as well. Thought to be linked with health problems such as diabetes and hypertension, this condition seems to develop gradually in both ears. Speech begins to sound muffled or unclear, and you may find yourself asking people to repeat themselves or turning the television up louder to hear it.

Noise is another common reason for hearing loss. If you’re exposed to even moderate levels of noise over a long period of time or frequently and you don’t wear hearing protection, or if you’re exposed even briefly to intense sounds, your hearing can be easily damaged. Noise-induced hearing loss is often accompanied by tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

A number of diseases also result in hearing loss. Otosclerosis, a middle ear disease, is a condition that makes it harder for the tiny bones in the middle ear to move, resulting in a conductive hearing loss. Meniere’s disease, an inner ear problem, often starts in people between 30 and 50 years of age and may result in sensitivity to loud sounds – dizziness and ringing in the ear are common with this type of sensorineural hearing loss. Ototoxic medications can also cause hearing loss.

Damage to your hearing may also result be the result of viral or bacterial infections, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, and tumors.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a hearing loss, make an appointment to have your hearing evaluated to determine the type and severity of the loss. The journey to better hearing can be just steps away.

Center for Hearing
7531 Memorial Pkwy South #C
Huntsville, Ala.