Hearing loss is an umbrella term that describes a person’s inability to hear certain sounds clearly, and there are many causes of temporary and permanent hearing impairment.
Your hearing loss can be hereditary or caused by old age, trauma, disease, constant exposure to loud noises such as industrial deafness, or wearing earbuds with the volume too loud. It can also be sudden, usually caused by infection or very loud noises such as an explosion or gunshot.
Here are five of the most common causes of hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is one of the most common causes and it happens gradually as you get older. The first signs are often an inability to hear higher frequencies. Many people don’t realise their hearing is affected until they start to have trouble hearing clearly with background noise.
All hearing loss is life-changing, but older people are often ashamed that they can’t keep up with conversations and withdraw, stay home more and become socially isolated at a time in their life when they really need to connect with other people.
Infection and Disease
There are a few diseases that can cause diminished hearing such as Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis, and meningitis, and even some drug treatments can adversely affect your ability to hear clearly. Infections of the middle ear and viral infections such as measles and mumps can also affect hearing.
Sudden Loud Noises
Explosions and very loud noises next to your ear can cause temporary or permanent deafness or reduced hearing ability. The noise can rupture the ear drum or damage the tiny bones in the ear and can also cause noise-induced tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ear.
Industrial deafness or noise-induced hearing loss happens when you’re exposed to loud noise from factories or heavy machinery over a long period of time. The hearing loss is gradual and much of the damage has already been done by the time you notice it. Gradual hearing loss can also happen if you listen to music too loud through head phones or earbuds, or attend a lot of live rock concerts.
A build-up of ear wax can also cause temporary hearing loss. Some people produce more ear wax than others and it can cause problems when there’s too much or it becomes impacted. Fortunately, it’s easily treated with ear drops and a trip to your doctor or hospital if needed.
Brisbane’s Most Thorough Free Hearing Test
At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors, university students and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for your hearing problems can be embarrassing and stressful but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue, or offer our expert advice on the causes of hearing loss.
If you’re having trouble hearing for any reason it’s important to have a hearing test and get the appropriate treatment.
Call us on (07) 3152 4056 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation.