Loss of Hearing

Monday, January 09, 2012

Twenty-two million Americansabout 8 percent of the populationhave impaired hearing, which may vary from mild loss of sensitivity to total loss of hearing. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses hearing loss.

Dr. Hill:

Over time, the wear and tear on your ears from noise causes hearing loss by damaging the cochlea, a part of your inner ear. Doctors believe that heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises are the main factors that contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as earwax blockage, can prevent your ears from conducting sounds as well as they should.

Gradual hearing loss affects people of all ages and is especially common in older adults. If you have hearing loss, you may not be aware of it, especially if it has developed gradually. Symptoms of hearing loss can include muffled hearing, ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ear, ear pain, discharge from the ear and vertigo.

Treatment for temporary, reversible hearing loss usually depends on the cause. Treatment for permanent hearing loss includes using hearing devices and taking steps to retain your quality of life. Treatment cannot restore lost hearing, but it can make communication, social interaction and work and leisure activities easier and more enjoyable.

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