Common Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen to anyone, at any age, for all kinds of reasons. Hearing loss can be caused by illness, genetics, or lifestyle factors like loud noises. Here are some of the most common causes of hearing loss.

fingers doing sign language for hearing loss

Otosclerosis

This is a disease of the middle ear that makes it harder for the tiny bones in your middle ear to move. This then causes a conductive hearing loss. The condition is usually treated with surgery.

Meniere’s Disease

This is an inner ear problem. Meniere’s disease doesn’t have a known cause but usually starts in people between the ages of 30 and 50. If you have this disease, you will experience sensorineural hearing loss. You may feel dizzy or experience ringing in the ears or become sensitive to loud noises. The hearing loss comes and goes at first, but some loss will become permanent over time.

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease

An autoimmune disorder is a disorder that causes the body to attack itself. This kind of hearing loss can come on very quickly. If you suddenly lose your hearing, you should see a doctor as soon as you possibly can so medical treatment can be applied to keep the loss of hearing to a minimum.

Medications 

Some medications can cause hearing loss. Talk to your doctor about the medicines that you take. Medicines that can impact hearing include:

  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as streptomycin, neomycin, or kanamycin
  • Large amounts of aspirin
  • Loop diuretics, like lasix or ethacrynic acid
  • Some chemotherapy drugs

Loud Noise

Very loud noises can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is painless and usually progresses over time. This kind of loss is common in those who work in loud environments, such as on building sites or in music venues. Always wear noise protection to protect your ears. Hearing a very loud noise, like an explosion, can cause sudden hearing loss. Loud noises can also contribute to conditions like tinnitus. Treating tinnitus usually focusses on managing the problem, not curing it.

Acoustic Neuroma

This is a kind of tumor that can cause hearing loss. You may also experience a full feeling or ringing in the ears. If you have an acoustic neuroma, you will need to seek medical treatment for help.

Physical Head Injury

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, a hole in the eardrum, or damage to the middle ear can cause hearing loss. If you’ve been in an accident that has damaged your hearing, seek help from a doctor as soon as possible to limit the damage done.

Presbycusis

This is a sensorineural hearing loss. It usually happens as you get older. You start to notice that speech sounds muffled or unclear. You might also start to have to ask people to repeat themselves or turn up the TV much louder than before in order to hear it. There are several options for this kind of hearing loss, such as learning sign language or lip-reading or wearing a hearing aid.

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