The Not So Typical Causes of Hearing Loss

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Aging, loud noise exposure, being sick with a strong head cold or flu, and tumors. Those four phrases are some of the most typical and common forms of hearing loss people tend to hear about. When visiting your hearing care provider, if you’re informed that you have some abnormal hearing loss, it’s likely that your mind will come to one of these four conclusions.

Surely, while these are some of the more typical types of hearing loss, there are many other physical ailments that may lead to either acute hearing loss, or slow and chronic hearing impairment over time. From common medications to diseases having to do with insulin, hearing impairment can come from a multitude of sources, and it’s important for you to know what those are so you’re always prepared for potential hearing ailments.

Diabetes

A common disease that affects many Americans can also create a certain degree of hearing loss. Diabetes Mellitus characterized by insulin resistance comes with many physiological signs and symptoms, ranging from vision loss, fatigue and confusion, and in dangerous cases, acidosis of the blood. Along with these issues, a significant portion of individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes also report a degree of hearing loss early in the disease state with the rest of its initial signs. While it is not known for sure, it is speculated by health professionals that the increased blood pressure diabetics experience could constrict blood vessels feeding the middle ear, and thus accelerate the hearing loss associated with age.

Smoking

You can add one more reason not to smoke cigarettes to your already lengthy list! Along with an extremely high risk for lung cancer, throat cancer, and removal of your vocal box, there is potential for hearing loss in rare cases. Since one of nicotine’s passive effects is systemic vasoconstriction, some individuals are more predisposed to over-constriction for the blood vessels in the ear, leading to sound dampening.

Your antibiotics

Great, you’re trying to get over this nasty bug you’ve caught and now you noticed something’s up with your hearing. Well, fear not, as there are several antibiotic regimens, specifically ones of the aminogylcoside variety, that may cause temporary hearing loss. Very common antibiotics, such as streptomycin, neomycin and erythromycin, can all bring about temporary hearing impairment. Make sure to speak with your doctor to see if a certain antibiotic you’re on usually causes this issue (and feel better soon!).

Loop Diuretics

Many people put on these lifesaving drugs after heart failure or chronic hypertension swear by what they do for them every single day. However, some patients put on loop diuretics will have a genetic predisposition to hearing impairment because of the vasoconstrictive effects they have on the entire body.

Low Birth Weight (for children)

 If you’ve found yourself on this site and you happen to be a new parent or grandparent, firstly, congratulations! And secondly, if your newest pride and joy happens to be born premature or significantly underweight at birth, it’s important to know that there may be some associated hearing loss with your new child or grandchild. Make sure to have regular checkups with a pediatric audiologist early on to make sure the issue does not worsen as the child gets older.

These are just some of the more common uncommon types of hearing loss. If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss from one of these issues, or want to be preemptive about treating potential hearing loss, make sure to get in touch with our office today to learn more about what can be done!