A partial or complete loss of hearing in one or both ears. It is classified as conductive, sensory, or central.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

The following features are indicative of Hearing Loss:
  • muffling of speech and other sounds
  • difficulty in understanding words
  • trouble hearing consonants
  • frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
  • need to turn up the volume of the television or radio
  • withdrawal from conversations
  • avoidance of some social settings

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Common Causes of Hearing Loss

The following are the most common causes of Hearing Loss:
  • heredity
  • ear infections
  • meningitis
  • trauma
  • long-term exposure to loud noise
  • ruptured eardrum
  • gradual buildup of earwax
  • maternal rubella

Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hearing Loss:
  • loud noise
  • heredity
  • occupational noises
  • recreational noises
  • some medications (gentamicin)
  • some illnesses (meningitis)

Prevention of Hearing Loss

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hearing Loss. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • immunization
  • proper care around pregnancy
  • avoiding loud noise
  • avoiding certain medications (gentamicin and chemotherapy drugs)

Occurrence of Hearing Loss

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hearing Loss cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hearing Loss can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Hearing Loss can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hearing Loss:
  • Otoscopy: Visual examination of the outer ear, middle ear, eardrum, and ear canal with an optical instrument
  • Weber, Bing, Rinne and Schwabach tests: For manual testing of auditory function
  • Laboratory testing: To detect inflammation or infections
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests: To find out the pathology of different cases of hearing loss

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hearing Loss:
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Audiologist

Complications of Hearing Loss if untreated

Yes, Hearing Loss causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hearing Loss is left untreated:
  • depression
  • anxiety

Procedures for Treatment of Hearing Loss

The following procedures are used to treat Hearing Loss:
  • Removing wax blockage: Removing earwax by loosening it with oil and then suctioning out the softened wax
  • Surgical procedures: Surgery helps in the ears draining
  • Hearing aids: Helps by making sounds stronger and easier to hear
  • Cochlear implants: Amplifies sound and directs it into ear canal

Self-care for Hearing Loss

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hearing Loss:
  • Protect ears in the workplace: Wear specially designed earmuffs that resemble earphones helps in protecting ears from damaging noise
  • Hearing tested: Consider regular hearing tests
  • Avoid recreational risks: Avoid activities such as riding a snowmobile, hunting or listening to rock concerts for long periods of time which can damage hearing

Patient Support for Treatment of Hearing Loss

The following actions may help Hearing Loss patients:
  • Turn off background noise: Television may interfere with conversation
  • Choose quiet settings: Choose a place to talk that's away from noisy areas
  • Consider using an assistive listening device: Hearing devices can help to hear better

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hearing Loss.

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