The Top 7 Causes Of Hearing Loss

Loss of hearing could be due to these top reasons

Hearing loss can range from mild to significant, short-term to permanent, and unobtrusive to downright painless. Depending on the symptoms, we can identify the cause of hearing loss and determine if it is a temporary occurrence. Here are the top seven most common causes of hearing loss, and how to identify them.

1. Occupational Noise

Construction and manual work noise can cause permanent hearing issues


Have you ever been around heavy, working machinery? Did you notice how your hearing feels after you step away from them after a while? Deafness is one of the hazards of being employed in fields with high noise – traffic, police, ground traffic controllers at airports, industrial workers, and construction workers are very prone to this disorder. Such deafness is gradual and permanent, often making it that much harder to identify.1

2. Air Pressure

Air pressure can loss temporary loss of hearing


Luckily, the loss of hearing we experience due to changes in air pressure, such as in an airplane or on the mountaintop, is temporary.2 They can be quite painful though. To prevent this, you can try swallowing something, or if the pain persists, blowing out with both your mouth and nose closed tightly.

3. Bacterial Meningitis

This can cause permanent loss of hearing due to nerve damage


Bacterial meningitis is a permanent condition that affects the auditory nerve. Unfortunately, there is no way to recover an injured nerve. Hearing aids may also be only of limited assistance.3

4. Ageing

Aging brings about loss of hearing


Ageing is the most dominant cause of gradual hearing loss. Many elderly people may not even realize that they are unable to hear until the problem gets very serious. Frequent checkups are necessary. Age-related hearing loss often comes with no other observable symptoms.4

5. Antibiotics

Antibiotics and other meds have known to cause hearing problems


Some potent antibiotics used to treat systemic infections cause severe oxidative stress in the inner ear, resulting in an acute hearing loss.5 Like many other conditions involving hearing, this one comes with no symptoms. Doctors administering this medication always look out for signs of hearing loss.

6. Cancer

Cancer can cause hearing issues, especially with radiation


Cancer of the nasopharyngeal region may in of itself cause hearing loss. Furthermore, chemotherapy and radiation used to treat these cancers can also cause hearing losses.6 Hearing loss is studied individually and there is no established threshold beyond which it can occur. Onset is often quite sudden.

7. Tinnitus

The ringing ear pain can cause a loss of hearing


Tinnitus is the term given to the sound of chiming bells you experience in your ears sometimes. The most common cause is chronic exposure to loud sounds. This includes everything from firecrackers to rock concerts. Depending on the level and duration of exposure, the hearing loss can be short and severe, or gradual and permanent. The characteristic sign is usually – a ringing in the ears.7

We may not realize it, but even everyday sounds of traffic can make us deaf over time. It is important to muffle our ears when the noises are too loud, get hearing tests done, protect the ears with proper care and reduce nouse exposure as much as possible.