Hearing loss (deafness) may be present at birth or it may manifest later in life. Deafness may be genetic or due to damage from noise. Treatment of deafness depends upon its cause. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by conditions affecting the:
- eighth cranial nerve,
- spinal cord, or
- Meniere's disease,
- noise-induced hearing loss
- hearing loss of aging (presbycusis),
- nerve injury from syphilis,
- hearing loss of unknown cause (idiopathic hearing loss),
- nerve tumors, and
- drug toxicity (such as aspirin and aminoglycosides).
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Related Disease Conditions
Earwax (ear wax) is a natural substance secreted by special glands in the skin on the outer part of the ear canal. It repels water, and traps dust and sand particles. Usually a small amount of wax accumulates, dries up, and then falls out of the ear canal carrying with it unwanted particles. Under ideal circumstances, you should never have to clean your ear canals. The absence of ear wax may result in dry, itchy ears, and even infection. Ear wax may accumulate in the ear for a variety of reasons including; narrowing of the ear canal, production of less ear wax due to aging, or an overproduction of ear wax in response to trauma or blockage within the ear canal.
Meniere disease (idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops) is an inner ear disorder with symptoms that include: vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and the sensation of ear fullness. The primary treatments for Meniere disease are: diuretics, anti-vertigo, anti-nausea, and low salt diets. Surgery may be recommended if the vertigo cannot be controlled with medication.
Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease include bone pain, headaches and hearing loss, pressure on nerves, increased head size, hip pain, and damage to cartilage of joints.
Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or rocking, even when someone is at rest. Vertigo may be caused by a problem in the brain or spinal cord or a problem within in the inner ear. Head injuries, certain medications, and female gender are associated with a higher risk of vertigo. Medical history, a physical exam, and sometimes an MRI or CT scan are required to diagnose vertigo. The treatment of vertigo may include medication, special exercises to reposition loose crystals in the inner ear, or exercises designed to help the patient re-establish a sense of equilibrium. Controlling risk factors for stroke (blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, and blood glucose) may decrease the risk of developing vertigo.
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in the hands, small-raised reddish-purplish blemishes on the skin, fever, decreases sweating, and gastrointestinal (GI) difficulties. Fabry disease patients are at increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. Symptoms of Fabry disease can be treated with medication.
Mumps is an acute viral illness caused by the mumps virus. Symptoms and signs of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of the salivary glands.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Cauliflower ear, or "boxer's ear," is caused by an injury to the ear, usually by blunt trauma from sports such as boxing, wrestling, or martial arts. When hematomas form, infection and eardrum injury may occur in addition to hearing loss if not treated. Treatment goals are to drain blood from hematomas, treat infection, and at times administer antibiotics to prevent further infection.
Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches and pains that may last from a few days to several weeks. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted by touching the hands to the mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or anything that came into contact with cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by eating raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork or lamb, or touching the hands to the mouth after contact with raw or undercooked meat.
Pendred syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes hearing loss. Generally, the hearing loss is affected in early childhood. Pendred syndrome also affects other parts fo the body (for example, the thyroid gland). Treatment is generally cochlear ear implants.
Canavan disease is an inherited genetic disorder that typically causes death before 10 years of age. Signs and symptoms of the disease include developmental delays, loss of muscle tone, enlargement of the head, and severe feeding problems. The disease is most prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. There is no treatment for the disease.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
The Eustachian tube is a membrane lined tube that connects the middle ear space to the back of the nose. Symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction or blockage include popping and/or clicking in the ear, and ear fullness and/or pain. Causes of Eustachian tube dysfunction or blockage include allergies, sinus infections, ear infections, and the common cold. Treatment includes home remedies to relieve pain and several maneuvers (swallowing, chewing gum, yawning etc.), which can be done to improve Eustachian tube function. In severe cases surgery may be necessary.
Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin turns white due to the loss of pigment from the melanocytes, cells that produce the pigment melanin that gives the skin color.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
There are three types of Usher (Usher's) syndrome, the most common condition that affects both vision and hearing. The major symptoms of Usher syndrome include retinitis pigmentosa (night-blindness and a loss of peripheral vision), and hearing loss. Usher syndrome is a genetic condition. There is no cure for Usher syndrome.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss and Its Prevention
Noise-induced hearing loss may be an acoustic trauma, which causes temporary hearing loss, or it may be permanent due to an acute acoustic trauma. Experts agree that continual exposure to more then 85 dBs (decibels) is dangerous to the ears. Ear plugs and ear muffs can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss as well as decreasing exposure to loud noises.
Children's health is focused on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. There are many aspects of children's health, including growth and development, illnesses, injuries, behavior, mental illness, family health, and community health.
Genetic Diseases (Disorder Definition, Types, and Examples)
The definition of a genetic disease is a disorder or condition caused by abnormalities in a person's genome. Some types of genetic inheritance include single inheritance, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Marfan syndrome, and hemochromatosis. Other types of genetic diseases include multifactorial inheritance. Still other types of genetic diseases include chromosome abnormalities (for example, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter syndrome), and mitochondrial inheritance (for example, epilepsy and dementia).
Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
Cleft palate and cleft lip are facial and oral defects that occur early in pregnancy. A cleft lip is a split of the two sides of the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Repair of a cleft palate or cleft lip may require multiple surgeries.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Bruxism may be caused by stress or anxiety and often happens during sleep. Symptoms and signs include jaw pain, headache, and abnormalities in your teeth. Treatment may involve practicing stress-management techniques, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, avoiding gum chewing, training oneself not to grind the teeth, and wearing a mouth guard.
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
Children with auditory processing disorders often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. Symptoms of auditory processing disorder include low academic performance, behavior problems, difficulty with language and reading, and trouble paying attention. Treatment may involve auditory trainers, environmental modifications, auditory memory enhancement, and auditory integration training.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. No one form of sign language is universal. For example, British Sign Language (BSL) differs notably from ASL. Different sign languages are used in different countries or regions.
Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS, infantile acquired aphasia, acquired epileptic aphasia, or aphasia with convulsive disorder), a childhood disorder that occurs between the ages of 3 and 7, is characterized by the sudden loss of speech, epileptic seizures, depression, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness.
Learn about mitochondrial disease, genetic disease in which include a group of neuromuscular diseases that are caused by damage to the mitochondria Common mitochondrial myopathies include Kearns–Sayre syndrome, myoclonus epilepsy, and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Symptoms of mitochondrial disease include heart failure, exercise intolerance, dementia, muscle weakness, movement disorders, deafness, blindness, stroke-like episodes, and more. There is no specific treatment for mitochondrial disease.
Campomelic dysplasia is a rare inherited condition that may be life threatening. The condition affects the skeleton and reproductive system.
Treacher Collins Syndrome
Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is a rare genetic condition that affects the development of the bones and tissues of the face. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and include: Malformations of the eyes Anomalies of the structures of the external and middle ear Feeding or swallowing difficulties. Treatment of symptoms requires a multidisciplinary approach. Sometimes surgery may help relieve a patient's symptoms.
Heterochromia iridis is a rare condition that describes people with two different colored eyes. There are many potential underlying causes of heterochromia iridis including genetic and acquired conditions. Heterochromia iridis comes in three types: sectorial heterochromia, central heterochromia, and completely heterochromia. The condition is often recognized by a parent (in the case of an affected infant) or by the patient or a family member (acquired heterochromia iridis). Treatment includes addressing the underlying condition or wearing tinted contact lenses to make the eyes look more uniform. The majority of people with heterochromia iridis have an excellent prognosis.
Alport syndrome is a genetic condition that causes kidney disease, hearing loss, and vision loss in affected individuals. Mutations in one of three genes that code for a protein called type IV collagen cause Alport syndrome.
Newborn Jaundice (Neonatal Jaundice)
Jaundice in newborns and babies (neonatal jaundice) usually occurs because of a normal increase in red blood cell breakdown and the fact that their immature livers are not efficient at removing bilirubin from the bloodstream. Symptoms of jaundice are fever, poor feeding, and looking ill. Newborn jaundice is very common and is caused because the newborns liver isn’t mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood. Treatment of jaundice in newborns include phototherapy, tanning booths, and other treatments.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between age 20 and 40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms. Ribavirin is the standard treatment for Lassa fever. Hearing loss is a common complication of Lassa fever.
Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, is characterized by craniosynostosis and other birth defects. There are three subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome. In type I Pfeiffer syndrome the individual usually has a normal lifespan and typical intelligence. Individuals with types II and II have more severe birth defects that can affect brain development and function. Signs and symptoms of Pfeiffer syndrome include a high forehead, prominent lower jaw, protrusion of the eyes, beaked nose, and short fingers and toes. There is no cure for Pfeiffer syndrome.
Ruptured (Perforated) Eardrum (Symptoms, Treatment, Surgery)
A perforated (ruptured, punctured) eardrum (tympanic membrane) is a hole or tear in the eardrum. The eardrum separates the ear canal and middle ear. Most ruptured eardrums do not cause pain, however, the condition can be uncomfortable. Bacteria, viral, and fungal infections are the most common causes a ruptured eardrum. Earwax removal attempts, changes in air pressure, and trauma are other causes of a ruptured eardrum. If you have a ruptured eardrum you may have symptoms like: Ear pain Partial or full hearing loss A mucousy or pus-like blood-tinged discharge from you ear Bleeding from the ear Ringing in the ear Vertigo Nausea Vomiting Middle ear infection Most people do not need medical treatment for a ruptured eardrum, however, some may need surgery depending upon the cause and size of the hole in the eardrum.REFERENCE: Cleveland Clinic. "Ruptured Eardrum (Perforated Tympanic Membrane)." Updated: Aug 208, 2014.
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious. Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Early Warning Signs and Types
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be thought of as an immune-mediated inflammatory process involving different areas of the central nervous system (CNS) at various points in time. Early warning signs and symptoms of MS in children, teens, and adults are similar; however, children and teens with pediatric also may have seizures and a complete lack of energy. Adults with MS do not have these signs and symptoms. Other signs and symptoms of MS include inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis), changes in vision, Wiping or having tissues around the eye and moving the eye may be painful, and double vision. There are four types of MS, relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MD (PRMS).
Friedreich's Ataxia Syndrome
Friedreich's ataxia syndrome is a rare inherited (genetic) disease that causes progressive nervous system damage and movement problems. Friedreich's ataxia syndrome usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination (ataxia) that worsens over time. Symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia syndrome include poor balance, slurred and jerky speech, and difficulty with coordination. Genetic testing and other procedures are used to confirm the diagnosis of Friedreich's ataxia syndrome. There is no effective treatment or cure for Friedreich's ataxia syndrome, however; the symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia syndrome can be treated.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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