With so much damaging hearing loss being preventable, it is good to know the reasons for it.
These can vary considerably due to differences in people’s health, age, and work and social environments.
The main causes of hearing loss in adults include:
- Aging – almost 25% of people in the 65 to 74 age group have a disabling hearing loss, and 50% of people over 75
- Long-term noise exposure from the work environment, hunting or military gunfire, or high-volume earphone use
- Genetics – family history of hearing loss
- Obstruction of the ear canal with earwax, a bug or small debris, a cyst, or other growth
Other less common causes of hearing loss include:
- Inflammation of the ear canal because of a recent illness or ear infection
- A damaged eardrum
- Medications that are toxic to the hearing system (ototoxic)
- Damage to the middle ear, usually from a fall or head injury
- Health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cognitive decline and dementia, depression, or diabetes
Any one of these can affect hearing health, and being able to diagnose the reason for your hearing loss can help our team of hearing professionals and me to choose the right treatment for it.
Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
Recognizing and treating hearing loss in the first six months of a child’s life is crucial to their speech and social development later.
In general, hearing loss in childhood can be caused by:
- Head injuries
- Ear infections
- Perforated or burst eardrums
- Deformities in the ear canal
Preventing Hearing Loss
Just because you identify with some of the causes mentioned doesn’t mean you will have a hearing loss, but it does mean you need to take more care looking after your hearing health to avoid any possible future loss.
- Get a hearing assessment every year or two if you are older than 55 and match some of the main causes listed.
- Wear hearing protection when around fireworks, gunfire, airplane engines, concerts, industrial equipment, etc. – earmuffs, earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, or earphones.
- Keep the volume low on headphones and earbuds.
- Manage any health conditions by following your doctor’s orders.
- Exercise, get plenty of sleep, maintain a healthy diet.
- Minimize alcohol intake; don’t smoke or vape.
- Be aware of any prescribed ototoxic drugs and ask about non-ototoxic replacements.
Treating Hearing Loss
It is vital to treat any sign of hearing loss as early as possible to prevent further damage to your hearing system and to help keep you fully independent and able to continue working in your chosen profession.
Come visit us for a hearing evaluation to get a clear picture of your hearing ability.
If you don’t have any hearing loss, we can use the results as a measure to compare them against next time you come.
If you do, we can share treatment options with you that best fit your needs and lifestyle to come up with a viable plan together that helps you get back to hearing well.
Contact us today so we can answer any questions you have and set up your hearing assessment appointment. You’ll be so glad you did!