Common Causes of Hearing Loss

There are quite a few different common causes of hearing loss. While it is usually associated with ageing, noise-induced hearing loss is climbing, making it more prevalent in younger populations. Common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Aging: As we age, the delicate structures of the inner ear can degenerate or become damaged over time.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss: Exposure to loud noise, either in an instant, very loud burst, or a loud, droning of sound over time can damage the cells in the inner ear and affect hearing.
  • Heredity: Some hearing loss is genetic and inherited, or passed down through generations.
  • Occupational noises: Part of the noise-induced hearing loss problem is due to exposure to loud noise on the job. Many people are unknowingly exposed to loud noises while they work. Common work environments that fit this category include the military, farming, construction, factories, etc. Even though the noises may not be instant loud sounds like gun fire or explosives, the droning of machinery or tools at 85 decibels or higher over time can cause noise-induced hearing loss too. Employers are required by law to provide protection for your ears if the work environment is dangerously loud.
  • Recreational noises: Also part of the growing noise-induced hearing loss segment of the population, people who are exposed to loud noise recreationally also can experience permanent hearing loss. It’s a shame because this can be completely prevented by using hearing protection while at sporting or music events, hunting, or even using power tools around the house. Listening to music or media too loud while using headphones also falls into this category and is a major cause of hearing loss in young people.
  • Certain medications: Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause hearing loss. Some medications might cause temporary hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears), while other medication side effects can result in permanent damage. Always consult with your doctor and read the label for all medications you take, prescribed, or over-the-counter.
  • Some illnesses: There are diseases or illnesses that can result in high fever that can damage the cochlea and cause hearing loss.
  • Blockages: In some cases, ear wax can build up and interfere with hearing. This is usually temporary and a hearing professional can properly clean your ears. Other blockages can be from a tumor or bone growth in the ear.
  • Damage or trauma to the head: Some types of hearing loss are caused by getting hit in the head or the ear directly. Depending on the damage, the hearing loss can be permanent.

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We are here for you and all your hearing health needs. If you are concerned about the possibility of hearing loss or have any questions about hearing aids, contact us at Anderson Audiology and schedule an appointment today with one of our hearing professionals at one of our five convenient audiology clinic locations in southern Nevada.

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