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3 Common Causes of Hearing Loss

a man holding his hand to his ear

There are two types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves don't travel through the ear canal or an object blocks the soundwave's path in the ear. Sensorineural hearing loss happens when damage to the inner ear or nerve pathways between your ears and brain.

Loud Noise Exposure

Exposing your ears to loud noise for an extended period can damage the delicate hair cells in your ears. These hairs help transmit sound waves into nerve impulses to be able to understand what people are saying.

Head Trauma

The other cause of hearing loss is head trauma, such as an accident or being hit on the head with something hard enough that it causes swelling and bleeding inside the ear canal. It will usually result in conductive hearing loss only since there's no injury to any sensitive part of your inner ear. But this kind is more complex than sensorineural hearing loss because you need the immune function for healing from these kinds of injuries.

Age-Related Hearing Loss

Over time, the older you get, the higher your chance of developing age-related hearing loss. These changes are because your ears become less flexible and stiffer as you age, which can lead to a decline in sound waves transmitted into nerve impulses.

Ototoxic Medications

Some medications can harm your hearing. These medicines include antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and anti-seizure medicines. You should consult with your audiologist on which type of medication is proper for your ear health.

Ear Infections

Hearing loss can also be a result of an ear infection. This type is usually conductive since there's no damage to the inner ears, but it will need immediate treatment for complete recovery. Examples of ear infections include acute otitis media (middle ear infection), perichondritis, and mastoiditis.

Alcohol and Smoking

The use of alcohol and smoking is also another cause of hearing loss. These substances will lead to a vitamin deficiency which results in anemia, or the reduced number of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, including your ears.

Injury to Neck or Head

Neck and head injuries are also a common cause of hearing loss. You should be careful when lifting heavy objects or straining your neck to avoid injury, leading to conductive hearing loss if there is damage inside the ear canal.

In conclusion, hearing loss is a common condition that can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, in some cases, it might be difficult or impossible to recover from because of the severity of the injury, which has caused damage to sensitive parts of your inner ear. But with proper treatment and care, you should be able to heal in most instances.