What causes hearing loss? We guide you through the most common causes of hearing loss and what you can do to effectively manage hearing impairments.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
The causes of hearing loss can be defined by a number of characteristics. Many of which will be out of our control and if we experience any form of hearing loss it is usually a very unfortunate event. Hearing loss causes go on to dictate the type of hearing impairment. With varying causes and types, it's likely that the root cause will mean you experience a specific type of loss which will determine how you will need to manage it.
5 Common Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused at anytime in a person's life. It can occur instantly or develop over a period of time. The cause of hearing loss will often go on to depict its type, as well as its onset.
The natural process of getting older is unavoidable. This process impacts our ability to hear and the older we get, the more likely we are to notice our hearing diminishing. With age-related hearing loss or Presbycusis, it is often the higher frequencies that disappear first. You'll notice that you can't hear high-pitched beeping noises from alarms, or timers.
More Information: Age-related hearing loss
Sometimes, things can get trapped in or block our ear canal. This could be anything from a foreign object to a wax build-up. This cause of hearing loss is usually temporary and our hearing can be restored upon the removal of the blockage.
More Information: Tips for Unblocking your Ears
Harsh sounds are always a danger. At times, they're inescapable. For example, certain professions such as construction or working in factories present louder noise than office-based careers. It is the constant exposure to these dangerously high sound levels that cause hearing loss. Noise damage may also induce ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
More information: What is Noise Induced hearing loss?
Ear infections are common. Anyone of any age can easily get hampered by an unpleasant infection which takes a swipe at our hearing. A trip to see a doctor will help diagnose the infection, as well as provide you with treatment options. Sometimes, unfortunately, an ear infection or repeated ear infections can result in permanent damage to your hearing nerve, so it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.
More Information: Reducing infection led hearing loss
External factors that we cannot control appear to be a common culprit for causing hearing loss. And, genetics is one of them. A family history of hearing loss or being hard of hearing from birth would suggest you may require hearing aids at some point in your lifetime.
For any of the above, hearing aids will be vital to the effective management of mild to moderate hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Loss Explained
The type of hearing loss you exhibit will be the result of its cause. The causes of hearing loss identified above will be imperative for diagnosing the condition.
Presbycusis: Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common types, especially in the 60-plus bracket. As we age, our senses can naturally decline and our hearing is one of the first senses to be affected. At first, this may appear milder and can be properly managed with hearing devices and sound amplifiers.
Sensorineural hearing loss: SHL is one of the more popular types of permanent hearing impairments. This condition is, unfortunately, irreversible. It may be the result of a mixture of the causes from above. Often, head trauma, harsh noise, infection, or genetics is to blame. SHL commonly requires digital hearing aids to cater for the condition.
Conductive hearing loss: CHL is when sound is unable to reach the inner ear, making these sounds appear muffled. More often, this hearing loss causes is down to a blockage in the ear. Treating this, in many cases, requires ear hygiene products can help remove excess wax ora medical professional can advise on methods to correct this.
Mixed hearing loss: Sometimes the different causes of SHL and CHL can occur together resulting in MHL and untreated symptoms of CHL may develop into a permanent SHL over time. The causes of hearing loss here can impact the weighting of its type.
More Information: What are the differences between Conductive and Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss: NIHL, as its name suggests, is the direct result of damage from noise. Lengthy exposure to harmful sound levels or sudden harsh noise can result in hearing loss. This can be both instantaneous or develop across months or years.
Check Your Hearing Online For Free
If you feel you've experienced one of the above causes of hearing loss, take our free online hearing test.
We strongly advise that if you do have any concern about your hearing, that you consult a medical professional or audiologist. They will be able to identify the type and causes of hearing loss, as well as recommend a proper way to manage the impairment.
How To Properly Manage Hearing Loss
Depending on the type and what is causing your hearing loss, managing it may require different approaches. Hearing aids are essential for combatting permanent losses. For the hard of hearing, they are a vital instrument which adds amplification and clarity to everyday life.
The Signia Silk 1Nx is one of our most latest devices. Loaded with all the fundamental features you'd need, this in-the-ear device is incredibly small and lightweight. There is also no need for medical approval - you can order online and have it shipped directly to your door. If you have an audiogram or test results, this model can be preprogrammed to match your needs so it will be ready to wear on arrival.
Alternatively, assistive listening devices enable everyday life to run smoothly.
About Hearing DirectWe are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, and information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.