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Posted on Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Five Hearing Loss Facts You Should Know

Doctor smiling.

Most doctors aren’t as familiar with the intricacies of hearing loss as an audiologist, and therefore there are things you might not know if consulting him or her about your hearing loss. So what are five things you should know about hearing loss that your doctor might not tell you?

1. SUDDEN HEARING LOSS: Sudden hearing loss can be an emergency situation that can lead to permanent hearing loss. Recent plane travel, trauma to the ear or other physical causes like sneezing are overt signs of sudden hearing loss, but sudden hearing loss doesn’t always have an obvious cause. When sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurs without pain, it can seem even less like the emergency that it is. Learn More

2. MEDICATION CAN DAMAGE HEARING: Ototoxicity or what some call ear poisoning is a side effect of taking certain medications, including too much aspirin, and results in damage to hearing. Medications can harm the inner, outer, or middle ear. Hearing problems can be temporary, permanent, curable or incurable. Ototoxicity is typically bilateral—in both ears, but damage to hearing can happen unilaterally or in one ear. Knowing what medications cause hearing loss and how to avoid them, can go a long way in keeping your hearing health. Learn More

3. MENTAL DECLINE: An increase in mental decline is now associated with hearing loss. Though the exact cause of this mental decline is unknown it’s thought that it might have something to do with lack of auditory stimulation that causes parts of the brain to atrophy or with the forced isolation that comes from not treating hearing loss. Learn More

4. UNEXPECTED FALLS: People with hearing loss are more likely to suffer a bad fall. This may be due to a cognitive overload—a situation where the brain has to struggle to compensate for the ears and this added stresses causes a mental exhaustion that prohibits the mind from fulfilling its functions as related to balance. According to a study by Johns Hopkins and funded by the National Institute of Health, untreated hearing loss leads to an increased likelihood of falls. Even people with mild hearing loss were shown to have a greater chance of losing their balance. Learn More

5. MISDIAGNOSES: Not only is hearing loss often misdiagnosed as dementia in adults, children with hearing loss can be misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD or other learning problems. Hearing loss among U.S. adolescents and younger children has risen thirty percent in recent years. Unfortunately, recognizing students with hearing loss is often a difficult and confusing task. The lack of information around childhood hearing loss means that many years can pass before a student is diagnosed and treated. Learn More

Finding a hearing health professional is essential to get all the facts about hearing loss. Not only can good hearing health help preserve your hearing, it has whole body, whole life effects. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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