Hearing loss is often a symptom of illness

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Hearing loss is often a symptom of other diseases

According to a recent report by the German Professional Association of Otorhinolaryngologists, hearing loss is often a symptom of another disease. Therefore, the association advises all those affected not only to take a hearing test, but to have a full ear, nose and throat diagnosis carried out by a specialist. In addition to the hearing test, this also includes ear microscopy, which can be used to rule out various serious diseases.

Which diseases can be the cause of hearing loss?
Dr. Dirk Heinrich, President of the German Association of Otorhinolaryngologists, explains: “Hearing loss is not an independent disease, but always a symptom of an underlying disease. The causes of hearing loss range from tumors on the auditory nerve to diseases of the middle ear and auditory canal to hearing loss of hearing that is well known. Hearing loss and degenerative processes can also lead to hearing loss. ”Because of the wide range of possible causes of hearing loss, the specialist must carry out extensive diagnostics. This is the right of every patient, according to the German professional association of ear, nose and throat doctors in their current report. The goal of such a thorough examination is to rule out serious illnesses and to treat hearing loss. Depending on the cause of the hearing loss, this can be done by surgery or other measures. If the cause cannot be completely remedied, the patient may need to be provided with a hearing aid. Hearing loss in old age is not seen as a symptom of another disease but as a natural part of the aging process. A hearing aid can usually help those affected.

Impact of deafness Hearing takes up a significant part of a person's social relationships. If he cannot hear or can hear poorly, this can have serious consequences. Hearing impaired and deaf people often suffer from loneliness and depression because they lack an essential means of communication. Another consequence can be dementia.

As early as 2005, US researchers led by Arthur Wingfield published a study that showed that the mental capacity of the human brain of the hearing impaired is not sufficient to focus on understanding and storing content. In the study, the memory of hearing impaired people was compared to that of test subjects without hearing loss. It turned out that the hearing impaired had to use a substantial part of their brain power to understand content, so that there was insufficient capacity to store the content (Source: Arthur Wingfield et al., Brandeis University, Waltham: Current Directions in Psychological Science). (ag)

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