Munson Health
 
Hearing Loss and Deafness

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by Badash M
 

Causes

The conditions that can cause or be associated with hearing loss include the following:
  • Ear infections
  • Middle ear fluid
  • Earwax
  • Hole in the ear drum
  • Trauma , including birth trauma
  • Nose or throat problems, such as:
    • Nasal allergies
    • Sinus problems
    • Blockage of the tubes leading from the ears to the throat
  • Family history
  • Noise
  • Ear disorders, such as:
  • Infections, such as:
  • Bacterial infections, such as:
  • Tumors involving the:
    • Ear
    • Brain
  • Neurological disorders, such as:
  • Hypothyroidism —underactive thyroid
  • Ototoxic drugs that damage the ear, such as:
    • Aspirin—usually reverses when aspirin is stopped
    • Quinine—usually reverses when quinine is stopped
    • Certain antibiotics—usually is not reversible when stopped
 

Symptoms

Hearing loss usually comes on gradually, but may come on suddenly. Symptoms may include:
Symptoms of deafness in infants may be noted at these stages:
  • 1 to 4 months: lack of response to sounds or voices
  • 4 to 8 months:
    • Disinterest in musical toys
    • Lack of verbalization, such as babbling, cooing, making sounds
  • 8 to 12 months: lack of recognition of child’s own name
  • 12 to 16 months: lack of speech
All children, including newborns, should be screened for hearing loss.
 

Treatment

Treatment for deafness depends on the type of hearing loss. Options may include:
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Audiology
http://www.audiology.org

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Academy of Audiology
http://www.canadianaudiology.ca

Canadian Association of the Deaf
http://www.cad.ca

 

References


Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/deafness/en/ . Accessed September 20, 2013.


Deafness and hearing loss research. The Scripps Research Institute website. Available at: http://www.scripps.edu/discover/deafness.html . Accessed September 20, 2013.


Hearing, ear infections, and deafness. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/Default.aspx . Updated September 8, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2013.


Hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Hearing-Loss/ . Accessed September 20, 2013.


Plaza G, Herráiz C. Intratympanic steroids for treatment of sudden hearing loss after failure of intravenous therapy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Jul;137(1):74-8.


What is hearing loss? NIH SeniorHealth website. Available at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/hearingloss/hearinglossdefined/01.html . Accessed September 20, 2013.

 

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