How Does Hearing Loss Develop and Progress Over Time - Hear More Associates


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A loss of hearing can mean you need to adjust to a new situation. Depending on the cause of your problem, hearing loss may progress over the years. For instance, you may experience a loss of comprehension, which is connected to your brain processing. 

While wearing hearing aids can help you adjust to your environment, they can’t fix or slow down the physical damage to your ears. You’ll likely experience less trouble with hearing over time if you consistently wear appropriately fitted hearing aids. On the other hand, not wearing them even when needed may quickly decline your speech and comprehension.

2 Hearing Loss Conditions That Worsen Over Time

Some hearing loss conditions are worse than others. While some are temporary, others worsen over time and become permanent. Here are two of them:

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This hearing loss condition involves both inner near and auditory nerve damage. In most cases, it’s permanent and worsens over time. One condition that leads to this is age-related hearing loss is presbycusis. 

Most of the hearing loss presbycusis is induced by too much noise. Based on research, those living in communities with little noise in the environment demonstrate normal hearing thresholds into their elderly years, compared with those living in noisy environments.

For instance, about a quarter of Americans aged 20 to 69 have noise-induced hearing loss, while over half don’t suffer from the condition. The noise is attributed to loud music on earphones, on public transit, attending concerts and sports events, and running power tools and landscape maintenance equipment. The louder the noise, the worse the damage, building up hearing loss over time. 

  • Sudden Hearing Loss

If you experience sudden hearing loss instantly or within three days, you need to seek medical care immediately. That instant change usually only occurs in one ear, and the exact cause is rarely established. 

Sudden hearing loss is commonly sensorineural, and nearly half of cases like these recover all or some hearing within the next two weeks after seeking treatment. The downside is that if you don’t seek treatment, you’ll likely experience worse.

Conductive hearing loss is usually not progressive since it can be corrected with medical treatment or surgery. It usually occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear because of earwax, fluid, a punctured eardrum, or anatomical problems. The important thing is to seek medical help immediately.

What To Do With Worsening Hearing Loss

If hearing loss goes uncorrected, parts of the brain physically shrink in a process called brain atrophy. This physical occurrence may lead to depression and cognitive decline. That makes it crucial to protect your residual hearing and seek medical treatment instantly.

You need to wear hearing aids even when you’re home alone regularly to keep your auditory nerve stimulated. Hearing aids can only amplify sounds, but your brain processes them. While there is no guarantee that your hearing loss won’t progress over time, regular checkups with a hearing specialist can help alleviate your condition by correctly programming your hearing aids to your needs.


Experiencing hearing loss, especially if it comes suddenly, can be challenging. If your condition worsens over time, it’s best to know that there are superpower hearing aids available to help you with your needs. Some people also choose to have a bone-anchored system or a cochlear implant, but whatever you choose, a hearing loss can still be resolved with medical care.

Hear More Associates are the most trusted hearing care specialists for patients in Lexington, Greater Boston, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. As hearing care specialists, our vision is to help patients before the onset of hearing loss. Addressing this condition early increases the chances of resolving it quickly, instead of the usual scenario of patients coming in with a hearing loss problem when it’s already too late. 

It’s essential to have your hearing tested regularly. If you want to take this opportunity to take care of your hearing health, we provide free hearing tests in Lexington and other areas! Get in touch with us today so we can assist you!

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