If someone in your family has a hearing loss, could you also get something similar? The answer is yes, potentially. Hearing impairments can be passed down from generation to generation, like many physical conditions. However, your genetics are just one of several reasons why you might witness a hearing loss.
To inform you about why you might be struggling to experience a full range of sounds, I’ve put together a list of the common causes of hearing loss.
Genetic Hearing Loss
Genetic hearing loss is regularly discovered during initial audiological screenings.
The CDC reports that 50 to 60 percent of hearing loss found in infants results from genetics. This is because a child’s biological information doesn’t perform in a typical manner – resulting in a “mutation.” However, while a child may pass a hearing test in their younger years, studies suggest that those whose parents acquire a hearing loss later in life are also more at risk from a similar condition.
This means that while other factors can play a big part in a hearing loss, someone’s genetics can determine the integrity of their audiological system later in life, for example.
Noise-induced Hearing Loss
As you may already know, exposure to very loud sounds can result in a hearing loss – and it’s a growing problem. The World Health Organization showed recently that 1.1 billion young people, ages 12-35, are at risk from a hearing loss due to witnessing damaging noises in recreational settings.
Any sounds that someone hears over 85 decibels can lead to a hearing loss. For example, someone may go out to concerts every weekend, where the sound level is above a safe level, and over time this can lead to a sustained hearing loss. Others might hear a very loud sound, such as an explosion, and this can cause damage to their hearing far more rapidly.
Temporary Hearing Loss
Another frequently found condition is temporary hearing loss, which usually results from some sort of ear infection. This can take place, for example, due to someone’s allergies, which along with other symptoms, can make sounds seem muffled. Similarly, those that rapidly increase their elevation – by taking a plane or driving up steep gradients – can also find that their hearing is impacted for a short period.
Our specialists at Upstate Hearing Instruments can diagnose this condition and offer you a referral to a physician who can then prescribe medicines to treat this issue.
Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss – a condition where someone rapidly loses hearing, usually in one ear – isn’t very common. However, recent studies have shown a link between COVID-19 and instances of this issue in patients, both in the US and in Britain.
Other viral infections are known to cause sudden hearing loss, but more research needs to be done on why this is affecting those with COVID-19. Crucially, around half of the people with sudden hearing loss can retrieve part or all of their hearing if they get immediate attention.
So if you or someone else witnesses a rapid decline in your hearing – or you have any other concerns – get in contact with our specialists as soon as possible!