Behind heart disease (#1) and arthritis (#2), hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States, affecting approximately 48 million adults. As the American Academy of Audiology points out, hearing loss doesn’t just affect “old” people. Half of those with hearing loss are younger than age 65. Furthermore, the issue is gaining traction in our youngest patients; approximately one in eight children ages 6-19 has noise-induced hearing loss.
What is the cause of hearing loss?
There are many possible causes of hearing loss, which is why any kind of hearing loss should be evaluated by a specialist. At ENT Clinic of Utah, specialists evaluate and diagnose hearing loss in the context of the whole person. This is important as hearing loss is sometimes associated with other health conditions, which may not necessarily be identified when pursuing hearing loss treatment through other avenues. Possible causes of hearing loss may include:
- Risk of hearing loss increases with age for reasons that are not fully understood. It is believed that decades of noise exposure eventually leads to wear on the body’s different systems involved in hearing.
- Individuals who work in noisy occupations may be more likely to experience hearing loss. Even brief exposure to noise can have a permanent impact on hearing.
- Many medications can lead to hearing loss, including some antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, erectile dysfunction drugs and aspirin (among others). Talk to your doctor about possible side effects associated with the drugs you are taking.
- Some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, can lead to hearing loss. Ménière’s disease (an inner ear disorder) is another illness known to contribute to hearing loss.
- Head impact – from sports, a vehicle accident or violence – can lead to hearing loss, especially if the eardrum is punctured.
- Lastly, ear infections can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss in some situations.
Diagnosing and treating hearing loss can be complex. An ENT doctor near you may be able to reduce future hearing loss and help you regain your hearing with hearing aids.
Where can I get a hearing loss test?
You can undergo a hearing loss test by visiting an ENT doctor near you. One benefit of going to an ENT doctor (as opposed to an audiologist) is that ENT specialists take a holistic view in treating hearing loss. Consider seeing an ENT for hearing loss testing and treatment – especially if you have known medical issues and/or other symptoms related to the ears or sinuses.
See an ENT Doctor Near You
For more information about your hearing loss management options, schedule an appointment with an ENT in Magna or West Valley City. Call 801-912-8270.