Who Can Experience Hearing Loss?
There are nearly 400 congenital syndromes that include hearing loss as a significant feature of the condition. Hearing loss is the most frequent impairment a baby is born with. Some 24 different abnormal genes have been identified that lead to deafness.
Ear infections are the most common reason for hearing loss in this age group. While the loss is usually temporary, it can be detrimental to educational success. Permanent hearing loss in early childhood can result from high fevers, illnesses, accidents and trauma.
While this group can also suffer hearing loss from illness and trauma, the most common reason is excessive noise exposure – which is completely preventable. Noise sources include personal music devices, earphone use with portable DVD players and computers, guns used in hunting and the operation of all-terrain vehicles.
Natural aging of the auditory nerve can lead to subtle communication problems in some adults. As with teens, noise exposure is a large contributor to hearing loss in adults. Adult-onset illnesses such as otosclerosis, acoustic neuroma, hypertension, diabetes and respiratory problems along with some cancer treatments can increase the severity of hearing impairment.
People in this age group are the most likely to have a hearing impairment. Natural aging of the auditory nerve as well as a lifetime of noise abuse, illnesses, trauma or medications can all contribute to hearing impairment in older folks.