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If you are experiencing signs of a hearing loss, it is normal to wonder what might have
caused your hearing challenges. When your computer isn’t working as it should, there
are many potential causes. There might be a broken piece of electronics, a virus, or
just the gradual wear and tear of years of use. In a similar way, hearing loss can be
traced back to one or more of several common causes.
1.) Loud noises
The ear is a very sensitive organ, and being exposed to loud noises can lead to
hearing loss. One-time exposure to a very loud noise, such as an explosion, can cause
sudden hearing loss. However, most people are exposed to moderately loud noises
over time, which causes gradual hearing loss.
Any noise louder than about 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss, especially with
prolonged exposure. Some types of noises that might be this loud include power
tools, concerts, motorcycles, sirens, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and kitchen
2.) Presbycusis: Age-related hearing loss
As you get older, it’s common to develop at least a small amount of permanent
hearing loss. The nerve cells in the ear slowly lose some of their function. Some
people experience only mild presbycusis as they age, whereas others have severe
age-related hearing loss.
Loss of sensitivity to high-pitched noises is one of the most common initial symptoms
of presbycusis. You also might have difficulty hearing conversations in settings with
background noise, like in a crowded restaurant.
3.) Ototoxic medicine
While medicine is helpful and often necessary for treating certain medical conditions,
some types can have a negative effect on your hearing. For example, several of the
common drugs used in chemotherapy, some types of antibiotics, and even large
quantities of aspirin can cause hearing loss. When your doctor suggests a new
medicine, you should always ask whether it might affect your hearing, and if so,
whether there are alternate medicines you could try instead.
4.) Earwax buildup
When earwax builds up in your ear canal, it prevents sounds from making it to your
eardrum and middle ear. This is one of the easiest causes of hearing loss to remedy.
Professional earwax removal can clear out your ear canal and restore hearing that was
lost because of the obstruction.
5.) Underlying medical problems
Many other types of medical problems can lead to hearing loss as a side effect. For
example, getting a cold or the flu can cause fluid buildup in the middle ear that leads
to mild hearing loss. Ear infections also will often lead to temporary hearing loss.
Other underlying medical problems may cause more serious or permanent hearing
loss. A head injury can damage nerves or move the bones in the middle ear out of
place. Non-cancerous tumors can grow in your ear or near the nerves that control
hearing. Some of these types of hearing loss are reversible, but others are permanent
and might require hearing aids to help restore hearing.
If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of a hearing loss, we invite you to
connect with us to schedule a free hearing test. Our friendly team is here to help you
Hear Your World in all the ways that enrich your life.