Mixed Hearing Loss
This involves both conductive and sensorineural components. Medical or surgical intervention may help the conductive portion and a hearing aid can help both the sensorineural loss and the conductive component.
Other Hearing Disorders
Other conditions often associated with hearing loss follow.
Tinnitus is the name for a ringing in the ears or other head noises, a common disorder experienced by nearly 50 million Americans. Tinnitus, which almost always accompanies a hearing loss, can also affect people with normal hearing (see Chapter 10).
One of the more common causes of dizziness (vertigo) is Ménière’s disease. Its symptoms also include tinnitus, hearing fluctuation, and hearing loss. Its cause is unknown but probably results from abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear. Currently, no known cure for Ménière’s disease is available; however, medications can be prescribed for acute attacks, and symptoms may be prevented or somewhat reduced with certain medications, by adopting a low-sodium diet, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, stopping smoking, avoiding noisy and stressful situations, and using exercise to reduce stress and improve circulation. Sometimes surgery is recommended to relieve acute recurrent attacks of dizziness and severe vertigo.
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED)
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) is treatable especially in its early stages with potent anti-inflammatory medications. The inner ear environment triggers an inflammatory response that can damage components of the hearing and balance receptors within the inner ear. The body itself initiates the inflammatory process, attacking the tissues as foreign, even though there is no infection.
For information about other conditions associated with hearing loss such as otosclerosis, acoustic neuroma, Usher syndrome, and Cogan syndrome, consult your otolaryngologist and library resources.