Hearing Loss in Monroe, NJ
Princeton Otolaryngology Associates, located in the Central New Jersey area, specializes in audiology. Residents living in Monroe, NJ and have hearing issues are welcome to visit our audiologists, Dr. Rajool Dave, Au. D, CCC-A and Karen K. Herring, M.S. CCC-A. They will conduct an examination of your hearing problem, find the cause and institute the most appropriate treatment.
Hearing defects alone in the United States affect quite a large part of the population, 48 million people to be exact. That’s 20 percent of the people and the figure only continues to rise. Studies estimate that a third of the population over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss. Continuing with the numbers, 60 out of every 100 people who report hearing loss are in the workplace. It is alarming to find that for a population of every 1,000 children, three of them complain of hearing loss. In children going to school, the incidence is higher. Nearly 30 in every 1,000 students complain of hearing-connected defects. Those suffering from hearing defects face many social problems like difficulty in socializing, threats to their careers and a marked drop in their quality of life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Numerous factors play a part in contributing to hearing loss, including genetics, age, accidents and even sicknesses. Human beings have had to contend with hearing difficulties since the beginning of time, but with the rise of modern medicine, new forms of treatment are available. Unfortunately, we live in a noisier and riskier environment than our ancestors and it impacts negatively on our hearing. The most common causes of hearing loss include:
Hearing loss may affect people across all ages but it most profoundly affects older individuals because of their age. Between the ages of 64 and 75, 33 percent of individuals succumb to hearing loss. Past 75 years of age, at least, half suffers from the condition. At present, doctors cannot pinpoint what exactly causes hearing loss in the aging population.
A Noisy Environment
People working or exposed to lots of noise are at risk of losing hearing. Humans pay an enormous price to progress economically. Daily, people face high noise levels, especially from traffic, blaring speakers in clubs and deafening noise as air traffic controllers. Some factory workers do not wear protective noise mufflers on factory floors, only contributing to the possibility of hearing damage. Most of these areas have noise levels of over 85 decibels, which leaves them at risk of suffering from hearing impairment.
A variety of medications is to blame for the loss of hearing. According to studies, we still have over 200 medications currently that directly or indirectly cause temporary hearing impairment and loss of balance. These medications include chemotherapy medication, erectile dysfunction medication, certain antibiotics, loop diuretics and some variants of aspirin.
Injuries to the head causing fractures on the skull may cause permanent hearing loss or worsen an existing situation.
Illness and Infection
If the blood supplied to the ear is infected, then hearing loss typically follows. Illnesses that have a direct correlation to hearing loss include chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure and conditions that increase production of ear wax.
Sudden Hearing Loss
In a year, statistics show that 4,000 people suffer from sudden hearing loss. It currently has no possible explanation. These people lose 30 decibels or more in hearing in just a few hours or days.
The Most Common Symptoms
A decline in hearing can be gradual and one may not even notice what is happening to them. It may go on for as long as a decade or more. In most cases, a family member recognizes the change and brings it to one’s attention. One may start having difficulty hearing noises such as the “S” and “F” sounds. Some people may struggle to hear a lady’s voice or a child crying. The most common symptoms include:
- Misunderstanding people when they are talking to them.
- Always asking people to repeat themselves.
- A feeling that people are not clear when they speak.
- Not able to keep up with phone conversations.
- Trouble understanding conversations in a relatively noisy place.
- Hearing an insistent ringing or hissing sound caused by tinnitus.
Understanding the Levels of Hearing Loss
Four categories of hearing loss exist. They include mild, moderate, severe and profound. A patient progresses through these levels dependent on the initial cause and extent of the hearing loss.
A patient is at this level when they notice that they are missing an occasional word in a conversation when there are background noises.
Individuals suffering from moderate hearing loss often ask people to repeat themselves, especially when there is background noise and during a phone call.
At this point, a patient cannot have a conversation without a hearing aid.
If the individual in question is not able to converse without having others shout, they suffer from profound hearing loss. The person has to have a hearing aid or cochlear implant to lead an ordinary life. It is next to impossible to have a conversation since the patient is nearly deaf.
Effective Hearing Loss Treatment Options
Treatment depends on the seriousness, extent, and cause of the hearing impairment. Due consideration of these factors will ensure partial treatment or total reversal of the condition. If it is just an infection or minor scarring of the tissue, a trip to the doctor for antibiotics may do the trick. Prescription of medication and even a change in diet may work as well.
A small portion of patients in need of hearing aids actually uses them, 20 percent to be exact. Many of those patients would be surprised to find out that partial treatment or even total reversal of their condition can be attained with this technology. If you realize someone you know is facing hearing problems, then call our audiologist to make an appointment.
Technology gifts us with a multiplicity of devices that help alleviate our lives as we struggle with hearing impairment. There are cochlear implants and sound enhancers for TVs, radios, and phones. People with permanent hearing problems benefit from technological advances that will help them lead a normal day-to-day life.
If you exhibit any of the above symptoms or know of someone who shows the same signs, contact Princeton Otolaryngology Associates for a consultation and professional help.