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Hearing loss causes and risk factors

Some hearing loss can be prevented. This guide to the causes and risk factors of hearing loss will help you learn to identify potential issues so you can better protect your hearing.
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Introduction

What Causes Hearing Loss

There are many potential causes of hearing loss, as well as risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing it. While many people can expect some level of hearing loss as inevitable due to aging, there are other factors that are good to be aware of. Knowing what the most common risk factors are can help you avoid losing your hearing earlier or prevent greater severity of hearing loss.

Some of the factors are internal or biological causes that are more difficult to avoid. However, some of them are more external or environmental causes over which you can have more control.

Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

Common Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

First, we will address the most common risk factors you should know. These are elements that may exist in your life that are more likely to lead to hearing loss. They may not cause hearing loss right away, but they can all add up over time. As a result, you may lose your hearing earlier, or more severely, than you would otherwise.

Genetics

Health Conditions

Age

Loud Noise

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Decoding Sensorineural Hearing

Sensorineural hearing loss is one of the two main types. It happens when your inner ear components that are necessary for hearing are damaged or deteriorate. Those components include the inner ear hair cells, nerve damage, and so on. You can read more in our full guide to the types of hearing loss.

There are several causes for sensorineural hearing loss, including the following:

Long-term Exposure to Noise

Cardiovascular Disorders

Ear Infections

Meniere's Disease

Autoimmune Diseases

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

Unveiling Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is the second of the two types of hearing loss. It occurs because something blocks sound from getting through your outer and middle ear and into your inner ear. The blockage can caused by a foreign objects or substances obstructing your ear canal. It can also be from an inflammation or abnormality of your ear structure.

There are several causes for conductive hearing loss, including the following:

Otitis Media or Middle Ear Infection

Foreign Obstructions

Tympanosclerosis

Microtia and Anotia

Eardrum Rupture

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)

Otosclerosis

Abnormal Growths & Tumors

Ossicular Chain Discontinuity

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Hearing is a precious sense that connects us to the world and the people we love. But when it's compromised, it can significantly impact our quality of life, relationships, and overall well-being. If you've noticed that conversations are becoming more challenging, or if the sounds around you seem muffled and distant, it might be time to consider scheduling an appointment for a hearing evaluation.
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Don't let your hearing hold you back

Eight hours a day, five days a week - we spend a great deal of time at work. If that time spent is taking a toll on your ears, you're not alone. Almost a quarter of all hearing loss cases in the U.S. can be attributed to workplace conditions. But with the right tools and methods, you can thrive in the workplace again.
Learn more about hearing loss at work
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