Illnesses That Can Cause Hearing Loss in Salinas

July 15, 2015 5:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Diseases do not have to directly involve the ears to cause hearing loss in Salinas. For many of them, deafness is an effect of the infection or condition or it develops over time alongside a chronic condition. Many of these illnesses are preventable, or at least manageable, so it is good to be aware of them to stop future hearing loss. Here are five of these illnesses.

Measles

Measles is a well-known cause of hearing loss which was why there was such a big push to develop a vaccination for it. It is highly contagious without a vaccine, with 90 percent of those not vaccinated developing the disease if exposed.

Measles causes hearing loss by damaging auditory nerves. While there is a high survival rate after infection, most people suffer long term consequences, including deafness.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

People with MS have an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the covering around the nerves. Without that shield, the nerves become damaged, causing pain and disorientation. Damaged areas can include auditory nerves, and when they deteriorate, so can hearing ability.

If you are facing a recent MS diagnosis, it is a good idea to schedule regular hearing tests even if your condition appears to be in remission. Early treatment can help preserve your quality of life.

Certain chronic conditions

Some conditions disrupt hearing by decreasing blood flow to the brain and inner ear. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes all cause some hearing loss, with that tendency increasing after a heart attack or stroke.

Rheumatoid arthritis, another autoimmune disorder like MS, has also been linked to some occurrences of reduced hearing. Also like MS, it has to do with how the disease attacks nerves, including those involved with hearing.

Tumors and growths

It is not uncommon for tumors or noncancerous growths to affect hearing by blocking the ear canal. Osteomas, exostoses and polyps are often discovered when hearing loss is investigated further. The good news is, once these are removed, hearing is often restored. Patients who experience hearing loss with balance issues, tinnitus and facial numbness should request further examinations to see if there is anything interfering with the ear canal.

Mumps

Another disease once nearly eradicated with vaccination also contributes to hearing loss. The swelling of the parotid glands that results from mumps also wears at the auditory nerves, which is why sufferers often report sore ears. Opportunistic ear infections that develop with mumps can also contribute to deafness.

Deafness from mumps is normally profound, meaning sounds less than 90 decibels are left unheard. In lay terms, that amount of loss means you might hear a car horn right next to you but nothing quieter than that. Complete deafness in one or both ears is also possible, although that occurs in less than one percent of cases.

As you can see, anything from the extraordinary to the common can contribute to hearing loss in Salinas. No matter where it comes from, though, Valley Hearing Center can help you restore your hearing for better day-to-day functioning. Contact us for a free hearing test.

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