Many different causes of hearing loss exist, including aging, exposure to loud noise and genetics. Let’s take a closer look at the role that genetics plays in hearing loss.
Genetics A Leading Cause of Hearing Loss in Infants
The vast majority of newborns are tested for hearing loss shortly after birth during universal hearing aid screenings. While many cases of hearing loss in newborns can be due to temporary causes, such as fluid in the ear, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “50% to 60% of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes.”
Children that are born with hearing loss or who have genes that cause them to develop hearing loss later in life have what is known as congenital hearing loss.
In most cases of congenital hearing loss, hearing loss is the only symptom. However, other cases are caused by genetic syndromes and come with other symptoms as well. Some of these genetic syndromes include:
- Pendred syndrome
- Stickler syndrome
- Treacher Collins syndrome
- Usher’s syndrome
If My Parents Have Hearing Loss, Will I Have It Too?
Not necessarily. Just as parents with normal hearing can have a child with hearing loss, just because you have a parent with hearing loss does not mean you will develop it as well. For example, if your parent worked in a loud environment, such as a construction site or engaged in loud hobbies without wearing proper hearing protection and developed hearing loss, that would not affect your risk.
Know The Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Many cases of hearing loss come on gradually. If you’re concerned that your genetics put you at a higher risk of developing the condition, it can be helpful to know the early signs so you can schedule a hearing test as soon as possible.
Some early signs of hearing loss include:
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Feeling as though everyone is mumbling
- Experiencing tinnitus (a ringing in the ear)
- Difficulty understanding phone conversations
- Struggling to follow conversations in places with background noise, such as when out to dinner at Sway
- Turning up the volume on the TV or radio louder than you used to
- Having other people comment on your hearing
If your hearing test reveals that you do have hearing loss, your audiologist will work with you to find the right pair of hearing aids or other treatments that will work best for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Victory Hearing & Balance today.