Statistics show that more than 26.7 million Americans 50 or older now have trouble hearing. For many people, auditory loss happens so gradually that they barely realize it. Others find that their ears seem to be working fine one day, and not so well the next. This impairment – caused by a myriad of factors and existing conditions – greatly affects a patient’s medical, emotional, and social well being.
Therefore, it’s important to understand what causes hearing loss, as well as the signs and symptoms to look out for. Check out the signs and symptoms below, and be sure to speak to a healthcare physician if you think you might be affected.
Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions:
- Loud noise
- Ear infections
- Eardrum trauma
- Cholesteatoma, which is skin growth through a hole in the eardrum
- Illness or infections like measles, syphilis, mumps, and meningitis
- Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear disorder that causes ringing in the ears, dizziness, and hearing that
- goes in and out
- Having something stuck in your ear
- Certain medications
- Autoimmune disorders
Hearing loss symptoms can gradually occur, or they might come quickly and fiercely. When hearing loss occurs, people tend to find ways to cope with it – but it’s important that you seek medical help if you recognize any of the medical, emotional, or social signs of hearing loss according to the Better Hearing Institute.
- Pain/pressure in one or both ears
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Ringing in the ears
- Ask people to repeat things they’ve said often
- Have the volume turned up high on the tv, radio, etc?
- Have difficulty understanding what people are saying, and get frustrated because you can’t understand
- Feel anxious about meeting new people because you have difficulty following conversations
The Better Hearing Institute explains that today there are a variety of ways to treat hearing loss. There are hearing aids which amplify the sound and often help most hearing loss patients, as well as assisted living devices which help people communicate – even through media and the phone.
Over the years the BHI says there have also been medical advances for hearing loss patients, as well as technological breakthroughs that are helping us learn more, and create more solutions.