Main Causes of Adult Hearing Impairment
Theresa Pitt, Aud.D., FISHAA, Audiology Services in S.E. Ireland.
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Causes of Adult Hearing Loss & What to Do about It

Wax and canal blockages can occur in all ears (children and adults) but do NOT OFTEN block the canal and cause hearing loss. Try not to poke - ear canals are easy to damage!! Do not get your ears syringed unless you must. Suctioning or drops is usually better for the ears; ask your G.P. for advice.

Older people with hearing loss probably have a permanent and untreatable loss known as presbycusis - especially if it has developed slowly and does not fluctuate. Most can hear some voices or tones more clearly than others, so their hearing loss may seem like a lack of concentration. Try not to criticise others if you havenít caught their words; equally, try to help those who do not hear well by repeating a little more loudly, re-phrasing sentences or facing them as you speak.

Noise induced hearing loss can occur from leisure or work noise. Whilst work noise is checked by many companies, leisure noise from Walkmans (or indeed from concert music) seems to be causing measurable problems. Use common sense! If it hurts or causes temporary deafness, avoid it or use ear protection! It's too late to regret not doing so after you have developed such a hearing loss.

Sometimes, sudden asymmetrical losses with dizziness require urgent treatment; however, tinnitus is only rarely a symptom of serious disorder. Dizziness may be a symptom of ear fluid imbalance which can cause hearing loss in one or both ears, and also affect the balance canals which are beside the ear. Known as Meniere's Syndrome or Disease, after the man who first identified it, it sometimes responds well to medication or surgery.

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