Do you have older family members who lost their hearing when they were younger, or have experienced difficulties with their balance or even dizziness? Talk to them and learn more about their health issues, it could be genetic.
Hearing Loss within the Family
Types of hearing loss, like presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), can be affected by genetic factors. Essentially, you can acquire an increased risk of hearing loss as you age.
More research is required, but in a study on 376 Caucasian families, genetic influences are a part of presbycusis. The study also noted that even though men generally have more instances of hearing loss, mainly due to noise exposure in traditionally male-dominated jobs, women’s hearing loss was mainly caused by genetic factors.
It is difficult to sift through other components that may impact these studies - such as people’s behaviors that can lead to hearing loss. Families may share the same occupations and habits, so it’s unknown as to whether it’s their genes or the similar behaviors that are connected to hearing loss. It may be a combination of the two.
Be Curious About Your Family‘s Health History
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stressed the importance of learning about your family’s health history and helping you reduce the risks of developing any potentially avoidable health issues. It is recommended that you create a list of immediate family members, and ask if they have any chronic or severe illnesses and what age they developed them. Share this information with family members and your family doctor. This information can help your doctor determine the proper tests and what age you should start these screenings.
Otosclerosis occurs when there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear and affects the stapes bone. Some symptoms of otosclerosis include a gradual loss of hearing, usually struggling to hear low-pitched sounds. Other symptoms may include dizziness, tinnitus, or problems with balance.
The risks of developing otosclerosis are based on your family’s history with the disease. It is usually a genetic problem that is passed from parent to child. A child who has one parent that was diagnosed with otosclerosis has a 25 percent chance of developing the disease. There’s a 50 percent chance if both parents have the disease. The demographic that is at most risk are middle-aged white women.
Conductive hearing loss can be the result of the disease. Surgery can usually fix this problem. In rare instances, otosclerosis can damage sensory cells and nerve fibers located in the inner ear, which can induce sensorineural hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or difficulty with hearing for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.