Do Chronic Diseases Trigger Hearing Loss?

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Head of Department of ENT, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine Prof. Dr. Armağan İncesulu stated that one out of every three people over the age of 75 suffers from hearing loss. In the age range of 45-54, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases can be triggers in hearing loss that occurs in one out of every 10 people, as well as infection and calcification that affect ear health.

Stating that the genetic inheritance we carry has a role in hearing loss in adults as in other diseases, Prof. Dr. Armağan İncesulu pointed out that environmental factors play a very important role in shaping this heritage. Stating that the infections in the outer, middle and inner ear, which were more common in the past years, decreased with vaccination, early access to the physician and better care, İncesulu said that it is still common and results in hearing loss. Providing information about the causes of hearing loss, İncesulu continued as follows: “Calcification in the ossicles in the middle ear also causes moderate hearing loss. Changes in the external auditory canal, eardrum, middle ear and inner ear structures resulting from biological aging can also result in hearing loss. In this hearing loss, which develops due to age and is called presbycusis, the hair cells responsible for hearing in the inner ear are destroyed, and age-related changes develop in other structures in the corti organ responsible for hearing. Unfortunately, it is not possible to regenerate these structures, and diabetes, high blood pressure or heart diseases, which are frequently seen in the elderly, can also affect the inner ear and facilitate the occurrence of hearing loss. In addition to these reasons, the use of drugs harmful to the inner ear, exposure to high noise due to entertainment or work, and blows to the head can cause hearing loss, ”he said.

Attention to elders of family watching TV loudly

Turning up the volume of the television or radio too much, having the patient repeat the words frequently during conversation, making a speech inappropriate for the person with hearing loss while chatting together. zamThe patient's relatives and the people they live with appear as the complaints of the patient's relatives and the people they live with. Less communication can lead to problems such as social isolation, decrease in school or work performance, difficulty in adapting to new topics and learning, and a decrease in self-confidence in the patient due to all these. Studies show that the time between the onset of patients' symptoms and actively seeking treatment options can take up to 10 years. Perception of hearing loss and hearing aid as a sign of aging, and negative experiences about using hearing aids play a role in this. While people are isolated from their work life, social relations and family relations, cognitive functions deteriorate, learning and adaptation to new conditions become more and more difficult. Patients are shy about things they could do individually and become dependent on their relatives. As a result, depression is seen much more frequently in individuals who feel useless or disabled than in the normal population, and the lack of communication, which is one of the basic activities of being human, facilitates the emergence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's in patients.

It is important to use hearing aid or implant solutions depending on the degree and type of loss.

Expressing that the hearing aid is a good option if the degree of hearing loss is mild to moderate, Prof. Dr. Armağan İncesulu stated that the benefit to be gained from a classical hearing aid will be limited in cases where the hearing loss is severe or very severe or in individuals who have problems distinguishing sounds. İncesulu continued: “It would be appropriate to evaluate these patients for cochlear implants. Cochlear implants electrically stimulate the structures in the inner ear and enable patients to hear, unlike hearing aids that provide acoustic stimulation, but unfortunately in our country, hearing loss is a silent and invisible obstacle, so most of them zammoment is neglected and the search for help is postponed. Increasing social awareness on this issue is also very important. Because the state has taken the implantation cost under social security and it is within the scope of reimbursement. We are focusing on awareness-raising activities so that this information can be delivered to more of our citizens.”

The ears of young people who listen to loud music are at risk

Stating that listening to loud music, the noise in the working environments or the noise in daily life directly affect the inner ear, İncesulu said, “Since these effects are not noticed in the youth period, the precaution is also delayed, whereas hearing loss due to noise is definitely a preventable problem”.

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