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When a medical condition occurs in the body, it can affect you in ways you wouldn’t have expected! This is true even with hearing loss, which can be caused by other medical conditions. Here are five surprising medical conditions that can cause hearing loss.

1. Otosclerosis

Throughout our lives, our bones remodel themselves by replacing old tissue with new tissue. If the bones in our ears remodel abnormally, the abnormal formation can disrupt the ability for sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear. This is called otosclerosis, “oto” meaning “of the ear” and “sclerosis” meaning “abnormal hardening of body tissue.”

2. Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that causes you to feel as if you’re spinning, a feeling known as vertigo. This disease also causes a ringing in the ear, (tinnitus) and fluctuating hearing loss that eventually progresses into permanent hearing loss if not treated early on. This disease usually affects one ear.

3. Acoustic Neuroma

When your ears take in sound, nerves in your brain process that sound information. Acoustic neuroma occurs when a noncancerous growth develops on one of these crucial nerves. The tumor can gradually get bigger with time, applying more and more pressure to your cranial nerves. A feeling of “fullness” in the ear, ringing in the ear, and facial numbness and tingling are symptoms of this medical condition.

4. Cholesteatoma

Did you know that there’s a tube that connects from the back of your nose to your middle ear? This tube channels air from the nose to the middle ear to equalize ear pressure. When this tube gets infected or functions poorly, cholesteatoma can develop and cause hearing loss. One symptom of this medical condition is fluid with a foul odor draining from the ear.

5. Meningitis

If you’re experiencing intense headaches and fevers, sensitivity to light, and a stiff neck, you may have meningitis. Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection and a significant amount of bacterial infections result in various degrees of hearing loss.

Hearing loss can be a sign of a much bigger health issue, so don’t ignore this issue and see your doctor if you have hearing health concerns. Happy hearing!

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