Can you inherithearing loss?
Nowadays, genetics has become a very fashionable field, with genetic medicine becoming ever more promising, and millions of people around the world tracking their genetic past to find out their roots. But what if it was possible to look back in time, only to discover that you possess genes for hearing loss? Is it even possible to inherit poor hearing?
Well, yes and no. As with most physiological issues, hearing loss has genetic and environmental components. It’s not easy for specialists to tease out the connections between specific genes and real-world hearing loss, but they are starting to come up with some intriguing results. Let’s look in more detail about their findings and see whether it has any relevance for current hearing loss patients.
Don't assume old age hearing loss is heritable
Finally, it’s important to note that people can panic unnecessarily about the probability of passing on hearing issues. As we noted earlier, scientists are very unsure what proportion of hearing loss in older people has a genetic component.
The likelihood is that deafness in older people (and adults in general) has a very strong environmental element. So, the way you look after your hearing, the situations you find yourself in, and the medical expertise you benefit from, will all feed into the chances of enjoying good hearing for life.
Genetics is a developing field, and with hearing loss, there’s much we don’t know. So don’t worry too much, and if you are concerned, make a date with a specialist to discuss your anxieties.