Adult Hearing Loss

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill looks at some of the causes and treatment for hearing loss.

Dr. Hill:

As adults age, they can develop hearing loss, which can be partial hearing impairment or complete deafness.

Conductive hearing loss is caused by obstruction of or mechanical damage to the outer or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent and is caused by damage to the auditory nerve or the inner ear.

Presbycusis refers to age-associated sensorineural hearing loss and is the most common cause of hearing loss in older adults.

Risk factors for hearing loss include chronic exposure to loud machinery or music, chronic ear infections, increasing age and genetic predisposition.

People may have hearing loss if they cannot hear someone talking close by, have a hard time hearing conversations in crowds, need to listen to the television at louder volumes or frequently ask others to repeat what they just said.

Treatment may include surgery to correct conductive causes of hearing loss, hearing aids for partial hearing loss and cochlear implants, which are usually used by people with severe or complete hearing loss.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.