HEARING LOSS: THE CAUSES AND WHEN YOU SHOULD SEE AN ENT DOCTOR
Listen closely! Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S. and is on the rise, as one in five Americans has hearing loss in at least one ear (representing 48 million people and far exceeding previous hearing care industry estimates).
Living with a degree of hearing loss can cause challenges as it is possible to worsen if left unchecked. Sometimes these problems can be severe, as ‘20% of the U.S. population aged 12 years and older has hearing difficulties severe enough to impact communication.’
There are several causes to hearing loss such as advanced age, noise, certain medications, illness, trauma, infection and ear wax build up.
There is a direct link between age and hearing loss: Approximately 18% of American adults between the ages of 45 and 54, 30% of adults between ages 65 and 74, and 47% of adults ages 75 and older have some degree of hearing impairment. Genes and the ears lifetime exposure to a varying amount of sound can be held accountable for the deterioration of hearing and the ears function.
Noise in the Workplace
Consider noise in the workplace as another contributor to hearing loss. It’s astounding that 44% of carpenters and 48% of plumbers are known to report hearing loss to some degree. It can happen in any noisy work environment.
Another distinctly notable fact about hearing loss in the workplace is that apparently ‘untreated hearing loss can decrease an individual’s income by as much as $30,000 per year.’ Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS says, “As more baby boomers remain in the workforce longer, this problem is likely to increase, and it is important for us to be cognizant of the problem and help prevent losses of jobs and decreases in income associated with remediable hearing loss.”
Certain Medications, Illnesses
Did you know that more than 200 medications and chemicals are known to trigger hearing loss? Most common among these medications are antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, aspirin and erectile dysfunction medications. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes interfere with the ears blood supply, therefore putting you at risk for hearing loss. Otosclerosis (a bone disease of the middle ear) can also cause hearing loss.
Trauma, Infection, Ear Wax
Injuries from the very minor to extreme (skull fracture, punctured eardrum, etc.) can be contributing factors to hearing loss. Buildup of ear wax and infections can also be detrimental to the function of the ear. Dr. Brandeisky’s can diagnose and treat your symptoms with examination and an in office hearing test to help restore your hearing .
According to the Better Hearing Institute, signs of hearing loss can slowly creep up on you. Should you experience the social, emotional and medical symptoms listed below by BHI, consider contacting Dr. Brandeisky for an ear exam:
Dr. Brandeisky’s office conducts audiological tests for all patients that evaluate hearing loss, evaluation and trial periods of hearing aids and more. Contact him today to book your appointment!
Follow Dr. Brandeisky on Facebook and Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn for updates.
Sources: Better Hearing Institute, Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA FACS (ENT Journal: Hearing loss: Economic Impact)