Hearing Loss at Any Age
Written By: Emma Squillace
Losing your hearing: it’s a concern many people have as they think about aging. A decline in hearing ability is a natural part of aging, to some extent, but often there are underlying causes that an ENT expert can identify. In addition, we often treat young adults and children who are having hearing problems. In many cases, there are solutions we can offer to help improve or fix your hearing problems that range from non-surgical to surgical options. Today we’ll look at some of the causes of hearing issues that can affect anyone from childhood through old age.
The problem with earwax
One common cause of hearing problems is earwax. Generally earwax is a protective substance, but in some cases it can get impacted. What happens is many people use a Q-tip to clean out their ears. They see that they have removed some wax, and assume this is a step in the right direction of opening up their ears. However, what really happens is that Q-tips are notorious for pushing some of the wax deeper into the ear. This makes hearing trouble worse because it causes impaction that can blocks the ear canal. If you notice that your hearing is not as sharp as it was, and you also have some dizziness or feeling of fullness in your ears, the issue may earwax. This is something we often see in kids as well as adults. The good news is that a doctor can treat excess or impacted earwax, which can help in getting your hearing back to normal.
Allergies & hearing problems
Another common cause of hearing trouble is allergies. Seasonal allergy sufferers likely identify itchy eyes and sneezing as common symptoms, but your ears can also be affected by common allergens. Allergies can cause hearing trouble because that same mucous production that causes a runny nose, can also cause fluid back-up in your ears. The ears are very sensitive, and excess fluid can cause headaches, dizziness, pain in the ears, and muffled hearing. If allergies are causing hearing issues for you or your kids, treating the allergies is the primary solution. At West Medical, we offer a range of allergy treatments that should be able to improve your body’s overreaction to seasonal and environmental allergy triggers. Once the allergy symptoms clear up, people generally experience a return to better hearing.
Genetics or aging
Hearing issues like earwax and allergies are relatively easy to treat. But some people have declines in hearing that are related to their genetics, a disease, factors like loud noises, or the aging process. While these hearing problems are not as easy to treat, we do have options for you. Cochlear implants can be significantly helpful for people with hearing problems related to parts of the ear that do not function properly. For those who have moderate hearing loss, hearing aids can improve their ability to hear by making sounds easier to hear. Today there are many options for hearing aids including those you can adjust from your smartphone.
Anyone from infants to adults to the elderly can have trouble hearing. These problems can be frustrating, interfere with school or work, and can be tied to other side effects like pain, pressure, and dizziness. It’s also important to know that some causes of hearing issues can get worse in left untreated. These issues can lead to an infection, a perforation of your ear drum, conditions like swimmer’s ear, and even permanent loss of hearing. Many causes of hearing loss can be successfully treated by an ENT physician. If you or your child is having trouble hearing, call us at (855) 690-0565.