What Causes Hearing Loss & How to Prevent It?
Hearing loss can be caused by many things throughout your life. Some of the most common causes of hearing loss can be prevented by wearing custom ear protection or reducing your exposure to the noise.
WHAT CAUSES HEARING LOSS?
There are many causes of hearing loss. Hearing loss with aging and excessive noise exposure is the most common causes of hearing loss, but they are not the only causes.
Presbycusis is the most common type of hearing loss and it is caused by the natural aging of the auditory system, also known as age-related hearing loss. It affects 1 in 3 people by the age of 65 and 1 in 2 people by the age of 75; it is the second most common illness in aged people.
Hereditary hearing loss can be present at birth or it may develop and progress throughout your life. Your genetic make up may make you more susceptible to ear damage and hearing loss.
Exposure to loud noises in the workplace and recreational can lead to ear damage and can cause hearing loss overtime. If you are exposed to an extremely loud sound, like an explosion, it can cause immediate hearing loss.
Infection & illness
Many illnesses and infections that result in a high fever may lead to hearing damage in the cochlear. Although not a full list, the most common infectious diseases that can lead to hearing loss are measles, mumps, meningitis, chicken pox, shingles and influenza.
People who have diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than those who don’t have diabetes. It isn’t clear what contributes to the hearing loss in people with diabetes, but it is known that high blood sugar can cause damage to blood vessels, including the vessels in your ear.
Injury & trauma
A traumatic brain injury, damage to the ear, or a hole in the eardrum can lead to hearing loss. There can also be a congenital abnormality that was present at birth causing hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Types of Hearing Loss
There are some medications that may increase your risk of hearing loss. Some of the medications that may impact your ability to hear include:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as streptomycin, neomycin, or kanamycin
- Large amounts of aspirin
- Loop diuretics, like lasix or ethacrynic acid
- Some chemotherapy drugs
HOW TO PREVENT HEARING LOSS
Here are some things you can do to help prevent hearing loss:
- If the sound level at work exceeds 85dB, reduce the noise level or wear hearing protection.
- Lower the volume of your television, stereo and phone.
- Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine.
- Wear custom ear plugs if you go to rock concerts or nightclubs, and don’t stand near loudspeakers.
- Wear noise-cancelling headphones if using noisy equipment.