What Causes Hearing Loss?

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Unfortunately, almost everyone experiences hearing loss at some point or another in their lifetime. There are several possible reasons for it to happen, and for some people, it will happen sooner rather than later. For some of those possible causes, there are ways to help prevent them, but with others, there may be no recourse. It’s important to understand what might be causing your hearing loss, if you are experiencing it, or what might cause hearing loss in the future. Here is a guide to some of the most common reasons that you might lose your hearing.

Age

As we age, our bodies start to break down. Our ears are not immune to this, much to our chagrin. When you lose your hearing with age, it usually happens gradually. Sometimes you may not even notice it. At some point, you might realize you are having difficulty hearing what people are saying to you. Your first clues may also come from others who are frustrated that you find they have to raise their voices for you to hear them. Getting hearing aids is the best way to fight age-related hearing loss. You can buy hearing aids online, or you can buy directly from a hearing aid specialist.

Medical Conditions

Several medical conditions can affect your hearing in a negative way. These conditions all have different treatments and hearing improvement methods.

Otosclerosis is an issue that occurs with the bones in your middle ear. The bones in this area are very small, and they can get stuck in place, meaning that sound is not able to properly filter through. Surgery is the most common fix for this issue.

There are also autoimmune diseases that can damage your hearing. An autoimmune disease means that your body’s immune system senses something in your body is foreign and attacks it. Hearing loss due to autoimmune disease can happen quickly and may present itself as a very sudden loss of hearing. It’s crucial to see a doctor immediately so that they can treat it. By addressing it early, you may experience only a small amount of hearing loss.

Tumors that develop in your ears are called acoustic neuromas. You may experience ringing in your ears, or your ears might feel like they are full. This is another condition that requires quick attention from medical professionals.

There is no known cause of Ménière’s disease, but it is nonetheless a serious hearing loss culprit. It may be age-related, as it usually strikes people who are between the ages of 30 and 50. It is an inner-ear issue that can cause you to feel dizzy or experience ringing in your ears. Other signs include being very sensitive to loud noises. As it develops, this hearing disease can become permanent.

Medications

Unfortunately, sometimes treating one medical condition can cause other problems. In most cases, the benefits are seen to outweigh the negatives. It’s important to have an open discussion with your doctor about these side effects that can affect your quality of life. Some of the medications and medical treatments that can harm your hearing include high-dose aspirin, diuretics, chemotherapy, and certain antibiotics. These are important medications that can save your life in some cases, but you may have to prepare yourself to have some hearing loss and other side effects as a result.

Trauma

When you suffer trauma to your head, it can cause more than a concussion. Your head contains many sensitive components that can suffer damage from impact or from being shaken around. This includes the ear. Structures inside your ear can get shifted and cause minor or major hearing loss. Hearing loss from trauma can also be permanent if the injury is serious enough. If you suffer a head injury, a doctor will most likely examine your ears to check for any issues.

Noise

Hearing loss related to noise can come in many forms and can be from any number of causes. Sometimes the hearing loss is short-term. This can happen from a sudden loud noise, such as gun-shot, or attending a single loud concert. You may lose your hearing, or have ringing in your ears temporarily. Long-term, regular exposure to loud noises can severely damage your hearing, in many cases permanently. This can happen to people who work in loud environments, such as construction, or who listen or play loud music regularly. Loud noises damage the hair cells in your inner ears, which dampens sound waves as they pass through. The more this happens over time, the worse and longer-term the damage can be. Unlike the other hearing loss factors, noise damage can be mostly prevented. The best thing to do is to wear earplugs at work or too loud concerts. Make sure that you do not blast music on your headphones too loudly as well since the concentrated noise can be very bad for your ears.

Smoking

When you think of medical issues related to smoking, you probably think of lung cancer and other respiratory conditions. Surprisingly, smoking can also harm your hearing. Some studies show that you may be 70% more likely to suffer from hearing issues if you are a smoker. This is another hearing loss cause that is largely preventable. The chance of getting hearing problems increases based on the number of cigarettes you smoke. Smoking is bad for your health in many ways, and your hearing is just another reason that you should quit if you are a smoker.

Losing your hearing can be frustrating and stressful for not just you, but your family and friends as well. Unfortunately, many factors can lead to hearing loss throughout life. Some are very preventable, and some require medical intervention. Make sure that you take care of your ears and also seek medical advice quickly if you think you are suffering from hearing loss.

What Causes Hearing Loss?
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