You probably know the most common causes of hearing loss: quick exposure to extreme noise, like a gunshot near your ear or an explosion; or long-term exposure to noise above 80 decibels, such as ongoing proximity to factory machinery, lawnmowers or loud music.
There are some other not-so-common causes of hearing damage that you may be unfamiliar with. If you are experiencing hearing loss and have not had exposure to loud noise, you may have one of these less common causes.
Diplacusis is a phenomenon where people experience “double hearing,” similar to “double vision.” There is a shift in pitch perception and this can cause them to hear one sound as two sounds. Often this can occur with people who have hearing impairment in only one ear, with normal hearing in the other ear. People with conductive hearing loss can sometimes experience diplacusis temporarily. Musicians are most likely to notice this phenomenon.
Otitis Media is also known as an ear infection. Ear infections can result from a cold and can interfere with hearing. Seventy-five percent of children have experience otitis media at least once by the age of three, but it can affect people of any age.
Usher syndrome is believed to be responsible for three to six percent of all childhood deafness and up to 50% of blindness and deafness in adults. Usher syndrome is inherited, and the symptoms include deafness or hearing loss, issues with balance, and retinitis pigmetosa, a vision disorder. Children born with type 1 Usher syndrome are born deaf, while those with type 2 are born with some hearing damage and those with type 3 are born with normal hearing but suffer with progressive hearing and vision loss that may affect them as teenagers or young adults.
Meniere’s Disease is a chronic inner ear condition affecting hearing and balance. If you think you have vertigo but it does not go away, you may be suffering from Meniere’s Disease. It is thought to be caused by an imbalance of inner ear fluid, and may be caused by things such as allergies, head trauma, viral infections, migraines, or the inability of the ear to drain properly. Meniere’s Disease may also be hereditary.
Acoustic Neuroma is a rare condition, affecting approximately two in every 100,000 people. It is a slow-growing and benign brain tumor that develops in the cranial nerve connecting the brain to the ear. The symptoms may include loss of hearing in one ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo (dizziness) and balance issues.
No matter what the cause, if you suspect you have hearing loss it is best to visit your audiologist right away to take the best course of action. Your audiologist may offer a solution that can slow or halt the progression of hearing loss.
Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.