The Answer is Yes. Hearing loss can run in our genes. In fact, hearing loss can be caused by gene mutations, which can result in several forms of hearing loss. Some of these genes allow people to be more susceptible to age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, ototoxicity and inner ear infections that can result in permanent hearing loss.
Within our inner ear, we all have sensory hair cells. These hair cells play a vital role in our hearing capabilities. When such hair cells are mutated and do not perform properly, it can cause hearing impairment. Hereditary gene mutations causing deformations of the inner ear can also be responsible for causing non-hearing related conditions, which when combined with this inner ear gene mutations, result in a lack of hearing or even deafness at birth or hearing loss as you age.
According the American Academy of Audiology, “These mutations account for about 70% of cases of genetic hearing loss. Non-syndromic hearing loss can vary from person to person, even within the same family. Hearing loss can affect one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) ears and can range from mild to profound degrees of hearing loss. The hearing loss may also be stable or progressive, meaning that it can change over time.”
The Dangers of Living with Untreated Hearing Loss
Just because you are not in your golden years does not mean you have no hearing loss. Hearing loss impacts millions of people across all ages of life. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services:
- From 1,000 children born in the US, two to three of them will be born with a measurable level of hearing loss.
- 15% of US adults (18 years and older), which is approximately 37.5 million people, have some level of hearing impairment.
- Based on standardized hearing examinations in the US, one out of every eight people in the US (approximately 30 million people) aged twelve years or older, have a level of hearing loss in both ears.
Living with untreated hearing loss can lead to a plethora of other healthcare issues, as well as increased healthcare costs. According to David Loughrey of the University of California, San Francisco, and Trinity College Dublin, “If clinical trials can demonstrate that treatment of hearing loss can help adults maintain their health and delay or prevent dementia this would have significant implications for public health policy. The cost of treating hearing loss would need to be measured against the cost of treating health conditions such as dementia, which is estimated to cost $1 trillion in 2018 globally, increasing to $2 trillion by 2030.” What we do know is that hearing aids do not cause harm and they do help to lower the chances of early-onset dementia, as well as lowering the risk of falls, social isolation, depression and other cognitive brain disorders.
At Physicians Hearing Solutions, all of our hearing healthcare professionals are fully licensed and trained in providing each patient with the best hearing healthcare options available for their specific needs. From our ENTs (Otolaryngologists) to our Audiology team, National Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and our office staff, all our patient’s needs are met with accuracy every time.
We want you to know you can trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing healthcare each time you come to see us. Our goal is to improve your quality of life through providing you with the quality hearing healthcare you deserve. We offer complimentary complete Diagnostic Hearing Screenings. Please don’t wait, call today, (401) 921-0181 Warwick, Rhode Island office, (401) 435-5355 East Providence, Rhode Island office.