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  • Irmo, SC (803) 749-6017
  • Moving August 2nd: Orangeburg, SC (803) 531-6403
  • Now Open: Santee, SC (803) 531-6403
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We value our patients and want everyone to be safe. We will be happy to see any patient that is in need of our service. Service is our #1 priority!

Thank you, Robin Hutson - Owner

The Causes of Acquired Hearing Loss

a brown haired woman cupping a hand to her ear

When dealing with hearing loss, it's critical to develop an understanding of what the symptoms are, as well as what causes it. Hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons, from exposure to loud noise and aging to chronic ear infections. Understanding the cause of your hearing loss can help your professional recommend the best treatment for your needs

Aging

It's very common for older people to start to lose their hearing. Usually, this starts to happen to people over the age of 65. Around 25% of individuals between the ages of 65-74 will begin to experience mild degrees of acquired hearing loss. Factors affecting this include blood flow and medical conditions. 

The best response to this type of hearing loss is an external hearing device such as an ITE, BTE or ITC device. These are modern devices with some excellent features to enhance your hearing and improve your life. The type of hearing device you choose will be discussed with your hearing instrument specialist. 

Exposure to loud noise 

Acquired hearing loss doesn't only affect the older generation; it can affect people of any age, especially when it comes to hearing damage from loud noises. The risk group for this type of hearing loss is those between 12 and 35. This is partly due to listening devices and loud concerts. 

High levels of noise from listening devices or music can damage the cilia on the inner ear. These are the small delicate hairs that transmit sound to the inner ear. Damaging noise is usually anything above 85 decibels. If you experience new ringing in your ears or symptoms of tinnitus, contact your HIS. 

Physical trauma

Another form of acquired hearing loss that can affect individuals of any age is that relating to physical trauma. Impacts and sudden loud noise, such as the kind you might associate with working in the military, can damage your inner ear and cause short or long-term hearing loss. Athletes are also at risk for this type, especially those who play impact sports. 

Existing medical conditions

Impacts and high decibel levels are not the only way your hearing can be affected by acquired hearing loss. If you have an underlying medical condition that might also cause symptoms. Furthermore, the medication you use to treat the condition could also be responsible for hearing loss. 

If you have underlying medical issues and begin to experience some loss of hearing, it may be time to contact your HIS. A hearing instrument specialist will conduct a thorough hearing analysis to determine the severity of your hearing loss, as well as the best treatments available.

Ear infections 

Another likely cause of acquired hearing loss is ear infections. These can affect people of any age but are more common in children and older adults who have vulnerable immune systems. An ear infection, particularly one that is repeated in the same ear, increases your chances of hearing loss. 

Ototoxic medications

You may not be aware, but many medications freely available on the market can be harmful to your ear and cause hearing loss. This type of medication is called ototoxic medication. It included certain painkillers, antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depression drugs, and blood pressure medications. Always research the product before you begin using it. 

You might be wondering how these medications damage your ear and cause hearing loss. The answer is that they damage the cilia on the inner ear that transport sound to the eardrum. This kind of hearing damage is similar to that caused by loud music. Without the protective cilia, your hearing will suffer. 

Viruses and diseases 

Finally, you need to look out for the effects of viruses and diseases on the ear. In the past, German measles was the main cause of hearing loss, however, since mass vaccinations began, the threat of hearing loss from measles is very much diminished. But threats still exist in the form of Rubella and Mumps.

Mumps is a disease closely related to German measles, and there is not a vaccine. A mumps infection can still damage the ear and cause hearing loss. If you have mumps or you know someone who does, contact your medical practitioner for immediate treatment. Your hearing instrument specialist can also be involved to help offer solutions to protect your hearing. 

To learn more about Call to action at the end to learn more about affordable hearing practices, phone this number: 803-749-6017, for Orangeburg and Santee phone: 803-531-640.