There are many, many causes of hearing loss, but we can usually sort these in five buckets, so to speak, based on internal or external factors.
Internal factors would include aging and genetic predispositions, while external factors would include loud environments, medications, head/ear injuries, and various medical conditions which have hearing loss as a collateral cause.
I’ll discuss these in more detail below.
Reasons For Hearing Loss
1. Unfortunately, one of the probable primary reasons for hearing loss is the aging process. So, from the moment we are born, we start to lose some of the hair receptors in the inner ear, which are responsible for how well we hear.
Fortunately, on the flip side, we have more hair receptors than we need to maintain normal hearing. It takes about fifty years or so to lose all those expendable hair cells before we really experience a clinical hearing loss.
2. The next cause is noise-related hearing loss. This is either work related or happens through hobbies where we expose ourselves to sounds that are dangerous or hazardous in some way to the status of those hair cells.
We start to acquire a hearing loss with a continuous exposure to excessive sound.
3. The next cause is related to some forms of medication. We know, for example, that a simple medicine, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can be responsible for an acquired hearing loss.
4. Another category of hearing loss is genetic hearing loss, when members of a family have a hearing loss and then the next generation has it too. Depending on what kind of genetic experience they have, the hearing loss can be transmitted genetically through DNA to the offspring.
Sometimes there is a hardening of three tiny bones that are in our middle ear. That is usually a family-transmitted hearing loss. The mobility of these bones in the middle ear is impaired by a calcium-like growth over some of the little bones.
That hearing loss is referred to as an impaired transmission through the middle ear rather than other hearing losses that are related more to the function of the hair cells in inner ear.
5. One more category is injury, mechanical injury to the head, which in some way mechanically shakes the head hard enough to cause, again, the damage to the fine hair cells in the inner ear.
In summary, most hearing losses are acquired, and genetic hearing loss is a hearing loss that is transmitted through the DNA.
To find out what is causing your hearing loss and to hear about hearing treatment options, the first step is to schedule a quick and non-invasive hearing test.
We look forward to getting you started on your hearing journey.