Hearing Loss News

Hearing loss may occur as a natural part of aging or as a side effect of a disease, but no matter the cause, it can have an adverse affect quality of life. Hearing loss not only makes it hard to hear but also hard to communicate with others on a daily basis.

Causes and Types

Hearing can be damaged in a number of ways. Some people are born with deafness or diminished hearing because of a congenital defect or disease. Others lose their hearing later in life after developing a condition that impacts hearing. Loud noises and other head injuries also can damage the ear and affect hearing, as can ear infections.

In general, people experience one of two types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss refers to loss caused by damage to the inner ear. It's usually permanent. Conductive hearing loss, on the other hand, can usually be corrected. It occurs when sound waves are not reaching the inner ear for a variety of reasons, such as the buildup of fluid or ear wax or a punctured eardrum. Other common types of hearing loss include presbycusis, which refers to the gradual changes to the ear that lead to hearing loss as a person ages; and tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears that can affect almost anyone.

Treatment of Hearing Loss

Treatment depends on the nature and extent of the problem. In some cases, treatments or surgery to repair the ear may help. Treating more permanent types of hearing loss may involve hearing aids, cochlear implants or hearing assistive technology. People who are hearing impaired also can have various types of therapy to assist with improving both hearing and speaking.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute on Aging; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Date Posted
Article Title
Hearing Loss Can Challenge Relationships

It can trigger feelings of frustration, guilt and isolation -- for patients and those who love them

Health Tip: Understanding Loud Noise and Hearing Loss

Things that may lead to permanent damage

Some Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss Tests

Such screens are critical to early intervention efforts, CDC officials say

Patients' Hearing Loss May Mean Poorer Medical Care

Misunderstandings raise the risk for medical errors, study finds

Hearing Loss Rates Holding Steady for U.S. Teens: Study

Vaccine that prevents ear infections may have counterbalanced surge in headphone use, expert says

A Cheaper Alternative to Hearing Aids?

Devices performed almost as well and are much cheaper, but they aren't regulated, researchers note

Guard Against Hearing Loss From Fireworks

Don't get too close to those loud booms, hearing specialist suggests

Hormone Replacement Therapy Tied to Hearing Loss

Older age at menopause also appeared to increase the risk, study found

Did Syphilis Cause Painter Goya's Hearing Loss?

Hearing expert says maybe, but there are other possibilities

Scientists Spot Gene for Rare Disorder Causing Deafness, Blindness

Child must inherit genetic mutation from two deaf parents, researchers said

Millions of Americans Bombarded by Loud Noises

Study found too few are protecting their hearing, despite exposure at work, home

Hearing Loss May Double in United States by 2060

Those over 70 will be hardest hit, study finds

More 'Extreme Preemies' Are Surviving

Babies born at 22 and 24 weeks still face tough odds, but neonatal care improvements have been key, doctors say

Pop! Goes That Balloon, and Maybe Your Hearing

Study found noise can exceed safe levels and perhaps damage inner ear

For Millions of Americans, Everyday Life Takes Toll on Their Hearing

Contrary to popular opinion, work-related noise not the main culprit, CDC reports

Earwax There to Protect Your Hearing, Doctors Say

If it builds up, seek medical attention, otherwise leave it alone, guidelines advise

Could Anemia Cause Hearing Loss?

Iron deficiency might keep ear cells from getting oxygen they need, study suggests

Everyday Pain Relievers May Be Linked to Hearing Loss in Some Women

But degree of impairment tied to acetaminophen and ibuprofen was modest, researchers say

Fewer Americans Under 70 Have Hearing Loss, Study Finds

It's still common, but noise-safety rules and changing smoking patterns may have helped, researcher says

Having Trouble Hearing? Maybe It's Not Your Ears

Part of the problem for seniors might lie in the brain, research suggests

Now Hear This: Wind Noise Can Pose Threat to Cyclists

Prolonged exposure may lead to permanent hearing loss, researcher says

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss

Older people's brains have a harder time processing speech, researchers suggest

CDC's Frieden: We're Nearly Out of Money to Fight Zika

He urges Congress to allocate more funding to combat the virus that causes severe birth defects

Congress Can't Agree on Additional Funding to Fight Zika

Health officials say the money is needed as more infections are reported in Florida

U.N. Tightens Safe Sex Guidelines for Visitors to Zika Zones

Male and female travelers, with or without symptoms, should practice safe sex or abstinence for 6 months after return

CDC Awards $2.4M to 5 Locales to Fight Zika

The goal: To assist in monitoring and dealing with Zika-related birth defects

3 Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Found in Florida

A first for continental U.S.; 95 other tested mosquitoes Zika-free, officials say

Strong Link Emerges Between Zika, Spikes in Temporary Paralysis Cases

Multi-country analysis documents increases in Guillain-Barre syndrome when virus is spreading

Funds to Fight Zika Nearly Exhausted: CDC

Mosquito season in Gulf Coast states only half over, officials say

Researchers Find Another Way Zika Can Harm Babies

Close to 6 percent who were diagnosed with microcephaly also had hearing loss

Blindness Biggest Fear for Many Americans

Losing vision would be as bad or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech or a limb, survey finds

1 in 10 Americans Has Experienced Ringing in the Ears

Study also found association between prolonged exposure to loud noises and tinnitus

Hearing Aids May Help Keep Seniors' Minds Sharp

Ability to stay engaged in conversation could help ward off dementia, study suggests

Type 2 Diabetes May Damage Hearing, Study Finds

Researchers recommend auditory testing of diabetic patients

Hearing Loss Tied to Bigger Medical Bills for Late Middle-Aged

Researchers say more study needed to learn how hearing aids, other interventions might save money

Drug Used for Preemie Eye Disease Tied to Disabilities

Babies given Avastin were far more likely to have neurological complications, study shows

Decline in Senses Affects Nearly All Seniors, Study Finds

Researchers say losses in taste, touch are most common

Health Tip: Protect Kids' Hearing During the Holidays

Teach children to shield their ears

Older Adults' Hearing Loss May Be Tied to Earlier Death

Findings don't prove that impaired hearing is to blame, but draw attention to quality-of-life issues

Certain Antibiotics Linked to Hearing Loss, Mouse Study Finds

Inflammation caused by the infection that's being treated may make ear damage more likely

Nasal Balloon Can Treat Youngsters for 'Glue Ear'

For kids with a common hearing problem, procedure may be an alternative to antibiotics, drainage tubes

Noise From Fireworks Threatens Young Ears

Expert advises families to sit at least 500 feet from launch area

Health Tip: How Loud is Too Loud?

Signs you may be damaging your hearing

Why Ringing in the Ears May Be Hard to Treat

Study found tinnitus activates much larger area of brain than normal sounds do

Ears May Have Natural Defense Against Loud Noise, Mouse Study Shows

Researchers suspect humans have a similar system to guard hearing

Health Tip: If Your Child Has Trouble Hearing

Here are common warning signs

Was Beethoven Composing From His Heart?

Experts suspect cardiac arrhythmia may have influenced parts of his work

40 Percent of Seniors Report Having a Disability

U.S. government analysis also found 15 percent had three or more problems