Tag Archives: Hearing-loss

Hearing Loss Linked to other Health Conditions

Studies Show that Hearing Loss is Connected to Other Health Conditions.

Once upon a time, before people knew any better, they thought that hearing loss was simply a part of growing older—something not worth doing much about.

They were wrong.

Turns out, hearing loss isn’t fussy about age. More than half of us with hearing loss are still in the workforce. And hearing loss is a much bigger deal than we ever imagined. We need to take it seriously.

Hearing loss affects baby boomers, Gen Xers and every other age group. And, when left unaddressed, hearing loss affects just about every aspect of a person’s life.

The big surprise is that hearing loss has been linked to other health conditions.

hearing Loss related problems

Hearing loss can have unwelcome companions—like heart disease; diabetes; chronic kidney disease; depression; cognitive decline, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease; increased risk of falling; increased hospitalizations.

The very best thing to do for hearing loss is to find out if you have it as soon as possible. Then take it seriously. If deemed appropriate by a qualified hearing health care professional, treat it.  Hearing aids can benefit the vast majority of people with hearing loss.

Most doctors don’t include hearing health as a routine part of annual exams. So ask to have your hearing tested. Once you reach middle-age, it makes sense to include hearing tests as part of your routine annual care.

It seems that the “hearing bone” may be connected to more than we originally thought.

For more information visit http://www.betterhearing.org/news/hearing-bones-connected-what

School Hearing Tests do not Detect Noise Exposure Hearing Loss

School hearing tests cannot effectively detect adolescent high-frequency hearing loss, which is typically caused by loud noise exposure, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health mandates school-administered hearing screens for children in kindergarten to third, seventh and 11th grades.
The school screenings primarily focus on low-frequency hearing loss. This is logical for young children, who are more likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss due to fluid in the ear after a bad cold or an ear infection.

Adolescents, however, are more susceptible to high-frequency hearing loss, usually brought on by exposure to loud noises, but the same tests are used on adolescents and young children.

Deepa Sekhar, assistant professor of pediatrics, compared the results of a special hearing screening designed to detect noise-related high-frequency hearing loss with the results of the standard Pennsylvania school hearing test. The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Medical Screening.

Both screenings test the ability to hear a tone at a specific loudness. The tone is played at different frequencies, or pitches. The screening for noise-related hearing loss tests the ability to hear higher pitches, up to twice the frequency of the Pennsylvania school screen.

Screening participants were 11th grade students at Hershey High School. Researchers administered both the statewide school screening and a high-frequency screening. Of the 282 participants, five failed the Pennsylvania school test and 85 failed the noise-related test. Of the group of 48 students returned for testing by an audiologist in a soundproof booth, nine were diagnosed with hearing loss.

“More participants failed the initial screening than we predicted,” said Sekhar. “Even with the effort and care put in by school nurses across the state, the current Pennsylvania school screen just isn’t designed to detect high-frequency hearing loss in adolescents.”

One in five adolescents experiences hearing loss, and most of this is high-frequency hearing loss related to continued exposure to noise hazards. Early detection and avoidance of loud noises can prevent hearing loss from progressing.

To efficiently detect adolescent hearing loss, schools across the U.S. may need to consider alternate tests that are better designed to detect noise-related high-frequency hearing loss.

“The results of this study have the potential to reach schools across the nation, as many use screens similar to those used in Pennsylvania schools,” said Sekhar. “We are currently working on a follow-up study at Lebanon High School in partnership with Penn State Nursing to further improve the high-frequency school hearing screen for use in the school.

Other Penn State College of Medicine researchers on the study were Tonya King, professor of biostatistics; Beth Czarnecki, audiologist; Shannon Grounds, audiologist; Ashley Barr, audiologist; and Ian Paul, professor of pediatrics and public health sciences.

Other researchers include Soha Ghossaini, associate professor of otolarynglogy, University of Illinois, Chicago; Thomas Zalewski, Bloomsburg University; Julie Rhoades, Impulse Monitoring, Inc.; and Barry Deese, Summit ENT & Hearing Services.

The Academic Pediatric Association/Maternal and Child Health Bureau Young Investigator Award funded this research.

 SOURCE: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-03/ps-sht032014.php.

Read More About hearing tests.

Diabetics have More Chances of Hearing Loss

Most common causes of Hearing Loss are Aging, Heredity, loud noises and ototoxic medicines but studies suggest that diabetes also makes more prone for hearing loss.

Patients with diabetes routinely receive blood exams, kidney function evaluations, feet examination and eye exams, but routine ear and hearing examination is hardly known thing.

On “World Diabetes Day” we recommend hearing tests should be norm for diabetics.

 Reason for hearing loss in diabetics:

There are changes in the nerves themselves and it hypothesized that hearing loss in diabetics is because of damage to nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear.

Sign and symptoms of Hearing loss:

Self hearing Check  at neoalta.com

  • Often turn up the volume of T.V. or radio.
  • Find it difficult to follow a conversation in a noisy area or crowded room.
  • Feel people are mumbling or not speaking clearly.
  • Misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately.
  • Ask others to speak up or to repeat themselves.
  • Sometimes miss birds chirping, doorbell or telephone ringing

How Hearing Loss is diagnosed ?

ENT consultation and hearing tests (Audiometry) by audiologist can diagnose hearing problem. DP OAE (distortion product otoacoustic emissions-test used for newborn hearing screening) can detect early hearing loss in diabetic patients.

Read in detail about Tests of Hearing

What is the treatment of hearing loss?

Treatment will depend on the type of hearing loss. Diabetics usually have sensorineural Hearing Loss which cannot be cured. However, most cases of sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

Read more about treatment of Hearing Loss.

Protection of Hearing in diabetics:

  • Control of diabetes, Hb A1c should be kept under 7%, diet and exercise are vital
  • Protect your sensitive ears from noise and ototoxic medicine
  • Regular Ear and Hearing Screening : along with your eyes, feet, and kidneys, your ears need regular screening.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, we recommend to  visit hearing clinic to take a hearing test,

visit Audicco.com  ENT and hearing center at Vashi Navi Mumbai to know more.

You Can Permanently Lose Your Hearing From Exposure to Diwali Noise

Any sound above 85 dB has the potential to harm our ears. The noise levels in most urban areas are very high which further goes up to dangerously high levels during Diwali- Fireworks and fireworks,  music systems… soon it may end up with visit to ENT and Audiology clinics.
Serious effects of Noise
Hearing loss
Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
Raised blood pressure
Irritability and disturbed Sleep

Levels of noise by American Academy of Audiology

Everywhere talks and campaigns are going on to stay safe in Diwali  —

-Top ten tips for a healthy Diwali on mdhil.com which says to make sure to protect ear from loud noises .

-Top Ten Tips for safe and Healthy Diwali on MeDIndia .

– Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belgaum will be organizing ‘Campaign’ to create awareness on
the ill-effects of air and noise pollution due to bursting of crackers.

Despite several campaigns being organised to raise awareness about the hazards of firecracker-induced noise pollution, expect a noisy Diwali this year too, as reported By Akshay Deshmane mumbai DNA  Diwali 2012: Noise campaigns fall on deaf ears

So big question remains “Are we really celebrating Diwali? asks Gayatri sankar on Zeenews.com


E.N.T. Care and Cure

A teenage girl visited ENT clinic with her mother with ringing in the ear and felt like cotton in the ear. Previous night,  Diwali Night she had spent several hours setting off the fire crackers.

Her ear were normal on video otoscopy and Audiogram showed  35 db at 4000 and 8000 hertz, Several days later, her hearing had returned to normal.

This patient is an example of a “temporary threshold shift.” Or Reversible Hearing Loss by exposure to an intense “impulse” sound such as fireworks or loud rock concert.

If sound is too loud or duration of exposure is long enough, such as noise generated in a woodworking shop it may lead to permanent threshold shift.  This condition is called Noise Induced Hearing Loss which has no cure.

Acoustic trauma occurs when excessive sound energy strikes inner ear. When we are exposed sounds that are too loud or…

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Single Sided Hearing Loss Can Seriously Impact Lifestyle and Work…



I sleep through bed side alarm because I happen to be lying with my hearing ear to the pillow. I have Single Sided Deafness (hearing loss in one ear) …But I am able to  manage my life…But…


What are Symptoms of Single sided deafness?

  •  Inability to hear sound from affected side of the ea
  • Inability to locate the direction of where the sound is coming from.
  • Understanding speech in background noise, sounds all blur into one flat mono channel
  • May turn their head to hear with their “good ear.”

I can manage my life with one ear but is there some psychosocial impact?


It affects social, work and home interactions due to the reduced ability to localize sounds and to discriminate speech in background noise.

  • Irritability and fatigue due to more effort needed to listen
  • Frequent headaches, stress
  • Social isolation
  • Blamed for “not paying attention.”
  • Avoids group situations because the noise overwhelms them,
  • Can hear only half of the components of the music, e.g., bass or piano, but not both


How one sided hearing loss is diagnosed?

ENT evaluation and Hearing test (audiometry) can detect hearing loss in one ear. Further tests may be required to know the cause.

It can be conductive, sensor neural or mixed in nature.

Conductive hearing loss may be due to problem in the ear canal, such as earwax, ear drum injury or infections.

Senorineural hearing loss can be either congenital or present at or just after birth due to malformation of the inner ear or a dysfunction/absence of the auditory nerve. It can also be acquired later on in life as the result of various causes such as ototoxic drugs, immunological diseases and infections.

 What is the treatment for one sided hearing loss?

Medicines and surgery may help in conductive hearing loss. Hearing aid help for sensorineural hearing loss

For permanent total one sided hearing loss even normal hearing aid does not help and aim is to restore the sensation of hearing by sending a signal to the better hearing side. It can be achieved by following two options-

Surgical: (BAHA)

BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), are surgically placed into the temporal bone of the unaidable ear. A sound processor transmits sound waves to the implanted fixture, which in turn causes sound to travel via bone conduction to the cochlea of the better ear.

Image courtesy:cochlear

Non-surgical: CROS Hearing aid 

Sound is picked up by a microphone worn on the unaidable ear and wirelessly transmitted to a hearing aid, which is worn on the better ear. The sound signal is typically transferred either by a wire connecting each device or wireless.

Image courtesy:Phonak

Unilateral Hearing Loss in Children:

Did you KNOW …?

SCHOOLCHILDREN with UNTREATED unilateral hearing loss are LIKELY TO FAIL one or more grades despite normal cognitive abilities?

Most of the time child with hearing loss in one ear is  MISSED till he grows sufficiently older to tell parents about his hearing problem. Child may be labelled as not paying attention in school

They can greatly benefit from fitting of hearing aid or sound field system (desk top or ear level FM system) to ensure the child can hear the teacher’s voice. Children with profound one sided hearing loss may benefit from CROS hearing aid designed to transfer sound from hear with hearing loss to the FM Technology.

Helping child with a unilateral hearing loss

Keep background noise to a minimum as much as possible.

Get child’s attention before speaking to them.

Position yourself so that you are on their side with good hearing.

Make the teacher aware that child has a unilateral hearing loss.

Ask for child to be seated as near to the teacher as possible

What is the Phonak CROS System?

The Phonak CROS/Bi CROS wireless system allows sounds to be transmitted from the dead ear to the normal /damaged ear. It is also the smallest solution on the market and is even available in a waterproof version, specially designed for active people.

High Risk Babies Must Be Tested For Hearing Loss

With modern technologies like OAE (OtoAcustic Emissions), BERA (Brain-stem evoked response audiometry) it is possible to identify hearing-loss within days of birth.

There are certain criteria which needs to pay attention and newborn should be subjected to hearing evaluation:–


History of Hearing Loss in family

Baby born out of consanguineous marriage


In utero infections such as rubella, cytomegalo virus, herpes, toxoplasmosis, syphilis

Use of ototoxic drugs by the mother during pregnancy

Excessive intake of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy

Prolonged / hazardous labour


Any illness that necessitated admission of the child in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) immediately after birth like hyperbilirubinemia

any illness requiring hospitalization for 48 hrs or more in the first 4 weeks of birth

Low birth weight of the baby (below 1500 grams)

Apgar score below 4 at 1 minute or below 6 at 5 minutes after birth

Any recognizable syndrome at birth where hearing loss is a known component of the syndrome like Down’s syndrome, Treacher-Colin’s syndrome etc.

Presence of any craniofacial anomalies including anomalies of the pinna and ear canal.


Noise Induced Hearing Loss

A teenage girl visited ENT clinic with her mother with ringing in the ear and felt like cotton in the ear. Previous night,  Diwali Night she had spent several hours setting off the fire crackers.

Her ear were normal on video otoscopy and Audiogram showed  35 db at 4000 and 8000 hertz, Several days later, her hearing had returned to normal.

This patient is an example of a “temporary threshold shift.” Or Reversible Hearing Loss by exposure to an intense “impulse” sound such as fireworks or loud rock concert.

If sound is too loud or duration of exposure is long enough, such as noise generated in a woodworking shop it may lead to permanent threshold shift.  This condition is called Noise Induced Hearing Loss which has no cure.

Acoustic trauma occurs when excessive sound energy strikes inner ear. When we are exposed sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time—small sensitive structures in our inner ear, called hair cells, can be damaged, Hair cells convert sound energy into electrical signals that travel to the brain. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before NIHL can occur.

Sound is measured in units called decibels. Continual exposure to more than 85 decibels (dB) is dangerous to the ears. Firecrackers emit sounds from 120 to 160 decibels. Sound with 140dB can cause ear ache. A very high intensity sound (above 160 dB) may also damage the ear drum and can cause dislocation of middle ear ossicles.

An even higher intensity may cause leakage of inner ear fluid leading to permanent hearing loss associated with dizziness.


  • Hearing loss
  • Sense of fullness  the ear
  • Noises, ringing in the ear
  • Earache
  • Bleeding from the are
  • Dizziness,

Signs and tests

Acoustic trauma is suspected if hearing loss occurs after noise exposure. Audiometry may determine how much hearing has been lost. Audiogram has typical “notch” at 4000 hz, with better hearing at both lower and higher frequencies. Otoacoustic Emisson (OAE) testing is very sensitive to noise induced hearing loss.


The hearing loss may not be treatable. The goal of treatment is to protect the ear from further damage. Hearing aid is prescribed for communication needs. If ear Drum is ruptured, surgery to repair ear drum may be needed.

Ear protection using noise protector ear plugs or ear muffs may prevent the hearing loss from getting worse.

Noise exposure, whether occupational or recreational, is the leading preventable cause of hearing loss. It can be prevented by avoiding “too loud” or “too long” Noise exposure and use of hearing protection when necessary.


It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing campaign, a program of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

Criteria for hearing screening of new born babies

First three years of life are critical for a child to develop speech and language skill. For effective language and communication skill development child need to hear normally. If any hearing impairment is there it should be managed at the earliest.

With modern technologies like Brain-stem evoked response audiometry it is possible to identify hearing-loss within days of birth.

There are certain criteria which needs to pay attention and newborn should be subjected to hearing evaluation:–

1. Parental concern about hearing levels or speech delay in their child

2. Family history of hearing loss

3. History of in-utero (cytomegalovirus, rubella or syphilis) or post natal infections (meningitis)

4. Low birth weight babies

5. Hyper Bilirubinemia

6. Cranio facial deformities or certain syndromes

7. Head injury

8. Recurrent or Persistent otitis media with effusion

9. Exposure to ototoxic drugs

Management of hearing loss; Hearing loss is more evident than Hearing-aids

Hearing loss in adult should be evaluated and managed properly taking care of emotional and social impact of condition on patient & his family. Bilateral hearing loss may affect professional life of a person. Aim is to know the treatable cause and manage effectively to prevent further loss. Sensori-neural loss which can not be cured by medicines should be started with rehabilitation by hearing-aids.

Symptoms of hearing loss:

  • Sound may be distorted, quieter and less clear
  • Patients usually have difficulty in hearing in noisy area or while in a group
  • Problem in hearing over telephone
  • Turn up volume of television/Mp3 player
  • Ask people frequently to repeat the sentence/words
  • Patients often misunderstand what others are saying
  • Patients think others are not speaking well

Evaluation of patient:

Thorough medical history(ear infection, giddiness, tinnitus, past medical illness or medication, trauma, exposure to noise-occupational or otherwise if any).

Clinical examination of Ear-Nose and Throat and patient.

Investigation-Audiometry tests to know degree and type of hearing impairment. Depending on clinical clues CT/MRI may be required.

Most common cause of hearing-impairment in adult is wax and after exclusion of wax tympanic membrane perforation is most common cause.

Management of Hearing loss

Management depends on type and cause of hearing loss; loss is of two types conductive and sensori-neural. Sometimes it may be mixed loss.

Conductive hearing loss:

When something hampering conduction of sound from your ear-canal, ear-drum and ear ossicles to reach inner ear or nerves of hearing.

Can be corrected by medicine and/or surgery, like-

  • Wax or foreign body-removal
  • Eustachian tube blockage or fluid in the middle ear -medicines or by procedure of putting small tube (grommet) in ear drum
  • Infection(otitis media)-Medicines
  • Perforation in ear drum-Surgery(Tympanoplasty)
  • Otosclerosis-stapedectomy& piston placement
  • Any cause in nose/throat is managed by medicine/surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss:

When problem is in inner ear or nerves of hearing (same as one has weak eye-sight).


  • Age -hearing loss after age of 65
  • noise-trauma
  • Menieres disease
  • Post viral infections like mumps, measles, influenza, herpes
  • Ototoxic drugs like aminoglycoside antibiotics (neomycin, streptomycin, amikacin, gentamicin, netilmycin), Salycylates, certain diuretics, antimalarial ( quinine & chloroquine), erythromycin and cisplatinum.
  • Hereditary
  • Immune mediated
  • Endocrine& metabolic disorders
  • Vascular or neurogenic
  • tumor

Management of sensorineural hearing loss

Mostly chronic sensori-neural loss can not be cured and person is prescribed to wear hearing-aids. In bilateral severe to profound hearing loss cochlear implant (electronic device, a part is implanted under skin by surgery) may be successful.

Some treatable causes:

If it is sudden loss, spontaneous recovery may be expected assisted by steroids. Underlying etiology present in 10-15 % should be identified & treated.

Immune mediated -steroids


Ototoxicity-Medicine stopped.


Though hearing aids are not as good as normal ear but if properly met with fitting requirements it can compensate well for hearing loss.

Hearing aids should be fitted and customized to individual after thorough hearing evaluation by by E.N.T. specialist and audiologist.

Most patients are benefited but there is limitation of sound quality and back ground noise that means it works well in quiet environment but some users have trouble enjoying music and listening in a crowded room.Improving FM (frequency modulation) boosts the performance of hearing aid and hearing aids can be optimally set for music.

Quality of hearing aid is of utmost importance and it takes few days to adjust but eventually initial chaotic sound disappear and person is able to appreciate the difference. Usually patients are happy after few weeks of use often coming to tell us that it has improved their quality of life.

Sensori-neural hearing loss may be shocking news to the patient and his relatives. Good doctor-patient relationship and understanding is required to help accept the fact. Talk with your doctor, friends, family and person with same problem to support you.