Hearing loss is a loss of hearing in one or both ears that can range from minor to severe. There are several reasons, and it can affect anybody at any age, although it is more prevalent in those over the age of 60.
How widespread is it? According to statistics, around 13 percent of individuals in the United States suffer hearing loss, which is twice as prevalent as diabetes or cancer. The good news is that there are several options available, including hearing aids.
But what actually causes hearing loss? In this article, we’ll list out the usual culprits so you can be aware of your risk.
Deafness vs. Hearing Loss
First, it’s critical to distinguish between the various stages of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is the inability to hear sounds in the same manner that other individuals do.
Deafness happens when a person is unable to understand speech even when sound is magnified.
On the other hand, profound deafness refers to a complete loss of hearing. A person with severe deafness is completely deaf and cannot hear anything.
The severity of the hearing loss is determined by how much louder the volume must be adjusted before they can notice a sound.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss
Many hearing loss cases are due to genetic reasons. It is also normal for hearing loss to occur as you age. Hearing loss can occur alone or in conjunction with tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
This middle ear disease hampers the movement of the small bones in the middle ear, making the transport of sound through the ear difficult. It is the cause of conductive hearing loss. Surgery is frequently used to address this problem.
Ménière’s illness has an unknown etiology. It generally begins in adults between the ages of 30 and 50. Sensorineural hearing loss is common in people with this illness. It is typical to experience dizziness and ringing in the ears. Sensitivity to loud sounds is also possible.
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your body fights itself. This form of hearing loss develops quickly. If you unexpectedly lose your hearing, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. Hearing loss can be reduced with medical therapy.
Exposure to Loud Noise
Excessive noise is often cited as one of the most prevalent causes of hearing loss. Loud noise can harm the sensitive sensory cells in the cochlea (known as hair cells) and lead to gradual hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss is caused by more than mere degeneration of the cochlea of the inner ear, as previously stated.
Aging can also cause the brain’s auditory nerve and hearing centers to lose their capacity to process sound efficiently, creating issues with more complex sounds like speech or music.
Physical Head Injury
Head trauma can cause inner ear structures to be damaged, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss. Any head injury should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. The medical check will undoubtedly involve both a hearing and an eye test.
There are several medicines and treatments classified as ototoxic drugs that have been related to hearing loss. These are some examples:
- antibiotics with aminoglycosides
- certain diuretics
- chemotherapy medicines, particularly Cisplatin.
In general, high and extended doses of these sorts of medicines are required to detect the consequences of hearing loss. However, research is currently being performed better to understand the effects of specific dosages and medications.
Hearing loss is frequently irreversible, so do everything you can to safeguard one of your most important natural assets. This can be done by wearing earplugs in noisy environments or even asking your employer for hearing protection. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that companies build barrier walls or mufflers in loud factories to protect employees’ hearing.
Prevention, as they say, is much better than a cure, which is why you might want to consider scheduling a hearing test at Hear More Associates. Our hearing consultant in Massachusetts is committed to determining whether you have hearing loss, its causes, and choosing a suitable treatment. Schedule an appointment today!