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Top Causes of Hearing Loss

There are several contributing factors to hearing loss. Some are preventable, others are not. No matter the cause, if you suspect hearing loss, have your hearing evaluated immediately.

  • Noise Exposure: When exposed to loud sounds without wearing hearing protection, hearing loss is often the result.
  • Aging: Hearing loss as a result of aging is usually related to the loss of inner ear hair cells.
  • Foreign Body: A complete blockage in your ear canal can cause hearing loss that is reversible once the foreign body is removed. For example, if ear wax is impacted in your ear canal, you will have hearing loss until the wax is removed.
  • Ototoxic Medications: There are some kinds of medication that are toxic to the ear – very strong antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, and over use of strong pain medications.
  • Injury to the Ear or Head: Severe ear or head trauma can rupture the eardrums, dislocate the middle ear bones, or cause nerve damage in the inner ear.
  • Medical Diagnosis: There are several conditions that can affect hearing – ear infections, otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease, and sudden hearing loss to name a few. A consultation with a physician is required to initially evaluate these conditions.
  • Tumors or Growths: Non-cancerous growths like acoustic neuromas and cholesteatomas are two which may require surgery.
  • Chronic Disease: When a disease process interrupts blood flow to the ear, hearing loss can result – diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
  • Childhood Illness: Measles, mumps and meningitis are three illnesses that can cause hearing loss. Or, hearing loss can result from the use of medication used to treat the illness.
  • Congenital: Sometimes hearing loss is present in an infant at birth. This can be an inherited condition, due to maternal illness during pregnancy, prematurity or trauma during birth.