Hearing Loss

The gradual loss of hearing that occurs as you age (presbycusis) is a common condition. An estimated one-third of Americans older than age 65 and one-half of those older than age 75 have a hearing impairment.

Over time, the wear and tear of noise contributes to hearing loss by damaging the cochlea, a part of your inner ear. Doctors believe that heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as wax blockage, can prevent your ears from conducting sounds as well as they should.

Damage to your inner ear can not be reversed naturally. However, you don’t have to live in a world of softer, less distinct sounds. Steps can be taken can improve what you hear.

Hearing lose should be evaluated by a specialist. An examination should include associated symptoms (vertigo, tinnitus, pain or fullness in the ear, headache), family history, ear examination, a basic audiogram, and more specific tests if needed.


Risk factors for Hearing Loss



Significant/moderate cell phone use

According to research presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation’s Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Washington, DC, 100 people who had used mobile phones for over a year suffered increases in the degree of hearing loss over the span of 12 months. Furthermore, the study also discovered that people who used their phones for more than 60 minutes a day had a worse hearing threshold than those with less use.

High frequency hearing loss is characterized by the loss of ability to hear consonants such as s, f, t, and z, even though vowels can be heard normally. Consequently, people hear sounds but cannot make out what is being said.

The authors warn users of cell phones to look out for ear symptoms such as ear warmth, ear fullness, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) as early warning signs that you may have an auditory abnormality. They also suggest the use of earphones, which they found to be safer than holding a mobile phone up to the ears.

Title: Audiological Disturbances in Long-Term Mobile Phone Users

Authors: Naresh K. Panda, MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCSEd; Sanjay Munjal, PhD; Jaimanti Bakshi, MS (ORL), DNB

Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2007.


(Much) second-hand smoke exposure

According to one study, smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke can be linked to an increased risk of hearing loss. The study also suggests that non-smokers who live with smokers are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss as those not exposed to smoke at home.



Recommendations for Hearing Loss


Antiinflammatory Combination Products

In a rheumatoid arthritis study using FYI, 3 male patients with hearing loss reported significant improvement in their hearing by the end of the trial.


Change in Habits

If cell phone use has or will be contributing to hearing loss, use an earbud instead, change ears, and limit the conversation to important matters.


Weak or unproven link
Proven definite or direct link
May do some good
Likely to help



Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.


The sensation of spinning or whirling; a state in which you or your surroundings seem to whirl dizzily.


A sensation of noise (ringing or roaring) that is caused by a bodily condition and can usually only be heard by the person affected.

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