Although there are several causes of hearing loss that are completely preventable or at least treatable, there are a number of diseases that can cause deafness as well. If you or someone you know is suffering from hearing loss for no apparent reason, it is a good idea to check the following disorders to see if your symptoms correlate with those caused by the disease.
Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). Also known as Mandibulofacial Dysostosis, among other things, TCS is a rare genetic disorder that causes obvious facial distortions and abnormalities. These can include deformed or even completely missing ears, a small lower jaw, and other eye and mouth misshapenness. This is due to hypoplasia, which is the underdevelopment of the craniofacial bones. Because of the ear formation anomalies that can happen with TCS, people with the disorder may also suffer from hearing loss. For people missing ears, bone conduction hearing aids can help.
Ménière’s Disease. Typically a disease that affects men and women between the ages of 40 and 60, Ménière’s Disease causes vertigo and tinnitus. This tinnitus may turn into a permanent loss of hearing. The cause of the disorder itself is unknown, but suspected to be an imbalance of fluids within the inner ear. Because your sense of balance and the fluids of the ears are so tightly entwined, it is not always possible to treat the dizziness and hearing loss at the same time. Sometimes, actually, curing the vertigo can cause permanent deafness.
Mondini Syndrome. This disorder, also called Mondini Dysplasia, is like TCS in that the hearing loss is caused by a malformation. With Mondini, the cochlea of the ear may not be fully formed in its spiral shape, resulting in a flattened appearance. Mondini Dysplasia does not always cause complete deafness, and it is sometimes never detected because the person can hear normally. Sometimes, a person with Mondini might need cochlear implants in order to enhance hearing abilities.
Waardenburg Syndrome. Usually shortened to WS, Waardenburg Syndrome is a genetic disorder that results in facial abnormalities, much like TCS. A person with WS may have pigmentation problems with the hair, facial skin, and irises of the eyes, and also suffer from deafness. The hearing impairment results from the malformation of the inner ear. Hearing aids or other auditory aid devices could help a person with WS recover some hearing.
Even for people suffering from hearing loss from a genetic disorder or Ménière’s disease, hearing aids and other hearing-enhancement devices can help restore some sense of sound. For more information on hearing loss and hearing aids, check out Hearing Planet today.