Depression...diabetes...fatigue...dizziness...if you have any of these conditions or symptoms, you may have a related hearing loss.
Hearing loss may cause short- and long-term symptoms, such as migraine, ringing in the ear, and fatigue, and can be related to several other conditions such as depression, dementia, and diabetes, to name a few.
If you are experiencing any level of hearing loss or any type of balance disorder, audiologists can help you improve the quality of your life and work with you to evaluate your hearing and determine the type and degree of your hearing loss or balance condition.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Symptoms such as vertigo, disequilibrium, lightheadedness, and spatial disorientation can all be described as dizziness.
When hearing loss is present, the brain has to compensate for the loss and work harder than before to process the same information, causing stress on the brain and finally fatigue.
Increased Risk of Falling
While the risk of falls increases with age, falls are not a normal part of aging and are often preventable.
Tinnitus is the perception of noises within the ears or head (e.g., ringing, buzzing, whooshing, roaring, crickets, etc.) in the absence of an external sound.
Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or moving, even though you are still. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and nystagmus (abnormal eye movements).
Finding an Audiologist Near You
The Find an Audiologist Directory of Academy Fellow members can help guide you to a professional near you. Search by symptom, specialty, certification, and location.
Conditions and Events that Cause Hearing Loss
Auditory Processing Disorders
Auditory processing disorders (APDs) are referred to by many names: central auditory processing disorders, auditory perceptual disorders, and central auditory disorders. APDs affect the auditory areas of the brain. Children and adults with APD often report difficulty hearing in background noise, in rooms that reverberate (echo) and/or other less-than-ideal listening situations.
Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can infect people of all ages. It is a member of the herpes virus family. CMV infection is not usually a significant problem except for those with compromised immune systems, or if the infection is passed to a baby before he or she is born. Infants with congenital CMV may be at risk for long-term health concerns.
Ear Wax Blockage
Ear wax, or cerumen, is a substance our body creates to keep the ear canal clean and healthy. The noxious smell keeps things from crawling in and antimicrobials to help keep bacteria growth to a minimum.
Genetic Hearing Loss
It is estimated that half of the children born with hearing loss have a genetic cause.1 Genes make up DNA-units of heredity that are passed from parents to children. If a gene does not form normally, it is called a mutation. Some of these mutations cause hearing loss. Genetic hearing loss can be the result of non-syndromic or syndromic genetic mutations.
Hidden Hearing Loss
Hidden hearing loss describes hearing loss that cannot be measured by standard hearing tests, even though patients report difficulty hearing, especially in background noise.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) are likely to seek help from an audiologist at some point in their communication journey. Those with IDDs have been diagnosed with disorders that affect one’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development,1 which may affect one’s ability to communicate. It is important for the audiologist to determine if hearing loss may be among the disorders for someone with an IDD and to treat the hearing loss accordingly.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Approximately 40 million American adults may have hearing loss resulting from noise exposure.1 Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells found in the inner ear. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, which results in permanent hearing loss.
Ototoxicity refers to damage to the hearing and / or balance organs that occurs after exposure to medications or chemicals that affect the inner ear. Ototoxic medications can damage hearing, balance, or both.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when tiny hair cells within the inner ear (the cochlea) are damaged. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and, in most cases, there are no medical or surgical treatment options. Hearing aids are the primary treatment for sensorineural hearing loss. In some situations, such as when hearing aids have not been beneficial for particular patients with severe and profound sensorineural hearing loss, these people may benefit from cochlear implantation.
Unilateral Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that affects only one ear is known as unilateral hearing loss (UHL). This hearing loss can range in degree from mild to profound. Occasionally, unilateral hearing loss is referred to as minimal hearing loss, as the presence of one normal hearing ear allows for minimal effects on speech and language development; however, it should be noted that even when hearing loss is only in one ear, it can have significant impacts on a person’s day-to-day life.
Vestibular migraine, or migraine-associated vertigo, is a disorder that exhibits vestibular disturbances in combination with migraine symptoms. Those with vestibular migraines do not always have a headache when symptoms occur.