Hearing loss is invisible and almost always painless. For the hearing impaired there are not always physical warning signs that their situation is getting worse. The most common symptom can be seen and is often ignored. It is a ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. So what are the hearing loss causes? Let’s find out here.
Most hearing losses develop gradually over a period of 25 to 30 years, often getting gradually worse with age. Between ages 45 and 60, there can be enough deterioration to interfere with communication.
Typical Hearing Loss Causes
Researchers believe that hearing loss in older adults is the result of two or more contributing factors. These may include:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Family history
- The natural aging process
In most of these cases, there is damage to the microscopic hair cells (cilia) in the inner ear – causing irreversible hearing loss. For the vast majority of individuals with nerve damage (also known as “sensorineural” hearing loss), the damaged hair cells will function again if vigorously stimulated with amplification.
Less Typical Hearing Loss Causes
Only about five percent of all hearing losses are the result of structural damage to the ear. This reduction in hearing is called a conductive hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss are:
- Impacted wax
- Perforated eardrum
- Middle ear effusion (escape of fluid into the middle ear behind the eardrum)
- Otosclerosis (a condition in which the bones of the middle ear become immobile because of bony growth)
- Cholesteatoma (accumulation of tissue in the middle ear caused by repeated middle ear infections)
- Congenital anomalies
Rare Causes Of Hearing Loss
- Ototoxic drugs (certain antibiotics)
- Viral and toxic illness
- Disturbances of fluid in the inner ear
Schedule A Hearing Appointment Now!
If you’ve noticed a reduction in hearing, feel the effects of tinnitus, or think that a loved one may be having trouble hearing, schedule an appointment with a hearing professional as soon as possible. Quick action can prevent damage from getting worse over time.