Thursday, September 22, 2016

My husband retired from the police force at age 56 without any hearing problems. He wore hearing protection both on the range and when doing loud activities such as mowing the lawn. About three years after retirement he developed significant hearing loss. Why did he have hearing loss at such an early age? Could it be because he used a flip phone on a daily basis?

While many associate hearing loss with the aging process, hearing loss knows no age.  It can happen at any time in life from birth to the later years. Some people are born with it, some develop it over time and others never have hearing trouble.

Hearing loss that happens later in life is usually something that runs in families.  Consider your husband’s parents.  Do they or other siblings have difficulty hearing?  If so, it may be in his genetic makeup to have hearing loss.  Sometimes familial hearing loss can start at an earlier age than expected.

There are many causes of hearing loss, but there are no studies linking hearing loss to cellphone use.  Certainly, exposure to loud sounds is one cause.  Hearing problems are also associated with heart and kidney disease, diabetes and even dementia.  Plus smoking and heavy alcohol use can reduce hearing ability.  Other causes of hearing loss include ear infections, certain medications (some of the chemotherapy drugs), and other ear diseases. 

On the plus side, your husband’s use of hearing protection served him well.  If he had not used it, his hearing would be even more compromised right now.  Encourage him to continue using it with all loud activities.  Plus, he should have regular Audiologic care with an annual hearing check.  Call 440-205-8848 for an appointment if we can help.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
Fax: 440-205-9818

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