Hearing loss in adulthood can be a symptom stemming from a number of medical conditions. There are hundreds of conditions from mild to chronically severe where hearing loss may occur. Adults over the age of 50 should schedule a free audiology test as part of a periodic health check.
One in three adults between 65 and 74 experience some degree of hearing loss, whilst one in two over 75 years of age are affected. *
Presbycusis is the most prevalent kind of Sensorineural Hearing Loss. It happens gradually as we age and affects sound in the higher frequency. It can often be difficult to self-assess, as it happens over decades. Sufferers will hear conversation, but it will sound like mumbling. Take our free online hearing test designed for Australians to see if you’re hearing properly.
Trauma is the next most common cause and can occur at once from a loud sound like an explosion or gunshot or over time from sustained exposure to loud music or machinery. The symptoms may include ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and usually involve hearing loss of high-pitched sounds. Trauma-induced hearing loss usually worsens over time.
There are hundreds of conditions that can cause hearing loss. Some of the more common conditions are listed below. +
Ototoxicity is a side effect of drugs and medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. The condition is most commonly experienced by older people.
Enlargement of the vestibular aqueduct is not well understood by scientist. A vestibular aqueduct is considered enlarged if it’s over 1.5mm in diameter. The enlargement is thought to regulate ions and fluids that provide signals to the nervous system and brain. Research indicates that about 10% of children with hearing problems have this condition.
Menieres’s Disease is thought to be a fluid imbalance in the ear. The most common symptoms are loss of hearing and balance. However, symptoms can include vertigo, nausea and vomiting as well as ringing in the ear. It can be effectively cured with medication and surgery, in some cases.
Meningitis is a serious infection that causes swelling of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms accompanying this viral or bacterial infection may include a sore or stiff neck, headache, fever, confusion, light-sensitivity and loss of hearing or sensitivity to loud noises. In some cases, it can also result from taking prescribed drugs.
Non-cancerous growths or Acoustic Neuroma affect about 1 in 100,000 people. They often grow slowly so their presence is undetected before permanent damage to hearing occurs. However, they can be safely removed and usually only affect one ear.
Overgrown bone or Ostosclerosis is most commonly experienced by women and usually presents between the ages of 11 and 30. The condition is characterised by the growth of bone in the middle and inner ear. Hearing loss can be accompanied by ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and dizziness.
Skin cysts or Cholesteatoma can appear at birth but more often are a result of a chronic ear infection. The condition can cause pressure on the middle ear. Over time the skin cyst can expand and become infected.
Note – if your hearing loss is accompanied by dizziness, loss of balance, vomiting, nausea, confusion, fever, or light-sensitivity, you should seek medical attention immediately.
When you’re ready to make an audiology appointment, contact Bay Audio hearing clinic on the Gold Coast for a free audiology test.
Call into one of our stores for more information on whether you’re eligible for a free hearing test.