The Main Causes of Hearing Loss in Older Adults
Older and wiser, or so the saying goes. As the years roll by, experience teaches you how to deal with the highs and lows of life. That’s the upside of aging. The downside is the impact on your health, including your hearing health. A lifetime of experiences can take its toll on your hearing. Here are just some of the main causes of hearing loss in older adults:
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes can all damage the inner ear leading to sensorineural hearing loss, a type of hearing loss where the sounds are prevented from reaching the brain due to problems with the inner ear or the auditory nerve.
Ménière’s disease and brain tumors can also cause this type of hearing loss. But a more common cause is infections such as meningitis, measles, mumps, and shingles.
Infections of the ear canal, known as swimmer’s ear, or of the middle ear, known as glue ear, can also cause hearing loss, and this type is called conductive hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is often temporary. Ear infections that result in perforated eardrums, for example, will cause conductive hearing loss, but this will resolve itself once the eardrum heals.
Accidents, injuries, and lifestyle
Head trauma, whether through sporting injuries or accidents, can damage the inner ear leading to sensorineural hearing loss or dislocate the small bones of the middle ear leading to conductive hearing loss.
Smoking reduces blood flow around the body, including the inner ear, which makes sensorineural hearing loss more likely. Obesity is also a risk factor as this can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure, which are both bad for your hearing health.
Exposure to excessively loud noises, whether it’s a one-off event or a regular assault on your ears, can cause sensorineural hearing loss by damaging the sensitive cells of the inner ear. Loud noises include anything from your lawnmower and power tools, to music concerts and football games.
One of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is the buildup of earwax in the ear canal. Other obstructions can also cause this type of hearing loss, including foreign objects in the ear and abnormal growths or tumors.
What’s the solution?
The important thing to remember with any form of hearing loss is that there are treatments available. For some forms of hearing loss, it could be as simple as removing an obstruction, while for hearing loss caused by infections or certain diseases, medication may help.
In cases where hearing loss can’t be reversed, hearing aids can transform an individual’s life by significantly improving their hearing ability.
Keep your hearing health in good shape
Make sure you can hear as well as possible, for as long as possible, by getting your hearing assessed by our experienced and friendly Audiology Doctor in Brooklyn, Dr. Hadassah Kupfer.
Dr. Kupfer will put you at ease, talk to you about your hearing concerns, and carry out a comprehensive hearing assessment so that you can then get the right kind of treatment to improve your hearing. To book your hearing assessment with Dr. Kupfer, call our practice at 917-791-1510.