Hearing Loss in West Windsor, NJ
Princeton Otolaryngology Associates can be found in the Central New Jersey region and its specialty is audiology. If you reside in the West Windsor, New Jersey area and are affected by a hearing problem, visit our audiologists, Karen K. Herring, M.S. CCC-A and Dr. Rajool Dave, Au. D, CCC-A, who can assess your hearing difficulty, discover its cause and decide the best remedy.
A lot of people are surprised to learn that the loss of hearing is the third most customary health problem in the U.S. It is also a health problem that is progressively worsening. Presently, about 20 percent of adults suffer from some level of loss of hearing, with almost three percent of school-age children dealing with several types of hearing deficiency. These people who suffer from this medical ailment may experience the inability to sustain a career, struggle having a conversation and suffer from a loss in the quality of their life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a loss of hearing through the years that include infections and trauma to genetics and one’s age. Whereas loss of hearing has been a dilemma for each generation of human beings, there are some new contributors to this health issue that include an environment that is even noisier and modern medication. Let us look a little closer at some of the everyday causes of loss of hearing that continue to happen today.
Between 64 and 75 years of age, around 33 percent of people experience a loss of hearing causing age to be the number one source of this medical difficulty. Regrettably, this number shoots up to almost 50 percent of all persons after the age of 75.
Although age is thought to be the most common reason for the loss of hearing, scientists are not sure why age influences an individual’s hearing outside of deteriorating and damaged soft tissue.
A Noisy Environment
The typical human being is overwhelmed with an assortment of noises each and every day, such as power tools, the radio, and car engines. Over time, after extended exposure to loud sounds, the ear can be harmed and this can result in tissue that is damaged. Currently, the jobs that have the most risk for loss of hearing include air traffic controllers, musicians, ambulance drivers, and carpenters. Basically, anyone that functions in surroundings that allow them to be exposed to noises of higher than 85 decibels for a prolonged period is in jeopardy.
There are numerous medications that have been given credit for permanent damage, a loss of balance and temporary loss of hearing to sections of the ears. Presently, around 200 medications are being prescribed right now that have been proven to affect an individual’s hearing and balance. The most familiar medications on this list include specific forms of aspirin, antibiotics, erectile dysfunction pills, loop diuretics and chemotherapy drugs.
Sudden Hearing Loss
Just about 4,000 patients are identified with hearing loss that is sudden without any apparent cause each year. This is inclusive of hearing loss of more than 30 decibels within a few days or a few hours. In most cases, this loss of hearing occurs in only one ear.
Any trauma that occurs to the eardrums, skull or brain can cause hearing that gets worse or hearing that is completely lost. This usually occurs if the skull becomes fractured or the eardrum is pierced.
Illnesses and Infections
If an illness or infection alters the blood traveling through the external and internal portions of the ear, a loss of hearing may be the result. Sicknesses that are frequently credited to hearing loss include conditions that increase the human body’s ear wax production, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
The Most Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing deterioration is a process that progresses so slowly that goes almost unnoticed. A person may notice that their hearing has slowly been getting worse for more than a decade. Often, a family member or a friend will recognize the condition. There may be certain sounds or pitches that become hard to detect, such as “F” or “S” sounds, a child crying or a woman’s voice. Other symptoms and common signs of loss of hearing include:
- Trouble comprehending a conversation with noises in the background
- Problems maintaining conversations on the telephone
- Grievances by others that the radio or the television is too loud
- The impression that people are continually slurring or mumbling their words
- Misinterpreting what people are saying and providing the incorrect response
- A ringing or hissing sound that is frequently caused by tinnitus
- Repeatedly having to request that people repeat themselves
Understanding the Levels of Hearing Loss
There are four basic categories of hearing loss that include mild, moderate, severe and profound. Depending on the cause of hearing loss, the patient may quickly or slowly advance through these phases as they sever their communication with the world surrounding them.
A loss of hearing that is mild normally takes place when noises in the background affect the ease with which one follows the conversation, sometimes missing a word.
With a hearing loss that is moderate, a person has to request that others repeat themselves when there is any noise in the background or when they are on the telephone.
Enjoying a normal conversation is virtually impossible without a hearing aid at this stage.
An individual that is diagnosed with hearing loss that is profound can no longer conduct a conversation without the other person having to speak very loudly. Without the aid of a cochlear implant or a hearing aid, any type of conversation would be impossible.
Effective Hearing Loss Treatment Options
Contingent upon the cause of the loss of hearing or the severity, the damage can be reversed or partially treated. In patient cases, such as minor scarring of tissue or an infection, easy alterations such as taking specific medications, changing your diet or going on antibiotics may correct your hearing.
About 20 percent of the people that are qualified for a hearing aid use these devices. A lot of patients are amazed to discover that their situation is fully or partially treatable with technology. If a loved one or you have begun to notice indicators of hearing loss, an audiologist can help you with both alternative drug choices and traditional treatments.
For anyone that desires to improve their quality of life after fighting with a loss of hearing, there are now more devices available than ever. These devices include cochlear implants and devices that amplify sound for telephones, radios and televisions. Even individuals that have a permanent loss of hearing can reap the benefits from devices and treatments that will assist them with the hearing that they do possess every day.
Get in touch with the Princeton Otolaryngology Associates to schedule a consultation for your hearing if you believe you have an issue and need expert testing for damage or hearing loss.