Causes of hearing loss can be many and are varied. While some hearing loss is irreversible, treatments are readily available for nearly all hearing impairments. It is important to know the cause of your hearing loss to find an effective treatment for the issue, improve your hearing health and regain your ability to hear clearly.
Ten common causes of hearing loss include:
Noise related hearing loss: Sounds become harmful to our ears when they are too loud, even if it’s only for a short time or when the sound is loud for a long period of time.
Age related hearing loss: Age related hearing loss is the most common cause of partial loss of hearing, with most people experiencing some level of hearing loss by the age of 60, also known as Presbyacusis.
Tinnitus: A ringing or buzzing in your ears even when you are in a quiet place, tinnitus can be caused by a range of issues, whether that be wax against your eardrum or other disruptions along the ear canal. Learn more about tinnitus here.
Meniere’s disease: Affecting the inner ear, Meniere’s disease causes bouts of vertigo, problems with balance, hissing and roaring in the ears and can create pressure in your ears making them feel like they may burst. Learn more about Meniere’s disease here.
Ear wax: Your ear canal produces ear wax to prevent particles and infections from reaching your middle and inner ear. If your body over-produces this wax, or you push it too far into the ear when cleaning, it can cause a blockage, leading to hearing loss. Learn more about ear wax here.
Mastoiditis: A potentially life-threatening condition, mastoiditis is caused by a middle ear infection left untreated which then spreads to the mastoid bone. As the mastoid bone is one of the most important structures in your inner ear, it can lead to ear pain, fever and hearing loss if left untreated. Learn more about mastoiditis here.
Hyperacusis: caused by damage your inner ear or hearing apparatus, hyperacusis is a debilitating disorder. Resulting in hypersensitivity to sound, this disorder causes the sufferer to experience everyday sounds as painfully loud. Learn more about hyperacusis here.
Labyrinthitis: An inner ear disorder, it is caused when the vestibular nerve becomes inflamed resulting in tinnitus, problems with balance and bouts of vertigo. Labyrinthitis can have various causes including viruses and infections. Learn more about labyrinthitis here.
Otitis externa: An inflammation of the ear canal, otitis externa is often referred to as “Swimmer’s Ear”. This condition can either be temporary or ongoing, caused by anything from a bacterial infection, to allergies, it can result in ear pain, hearing loss and in severe cases, fever. Learn more about otitis externa here
Otitis media: a middle ear infection, it can present as either acute otitis media (AOM) or otitis media with effusion (OME). AOM comes on quickly, an infection which results in severe ear pain, while OME causes a feeling of fullness in the ear caused by a non-infectious fluid in the middle ear. Learn more about otitis media here.