Common causes of hearing loss
Have you been experiencing some hearing loss and are wondering why? Here at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, we want to inform you of the most common causes of hearing loss.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is the cause of almost half of all the cases of hearing loss. Hearing loss related to noise can occur at any age. Noise exposure over time from sources such as loud music, motorcycles, firearms, power tools and lawn mowers can cause permanent hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss occurs in almost everyone. As you age, the ability to hear high frequencies diminishes. This affects your ability to understand consonants in speech. Hearing loss can range from mild to severe, but is permanent and does not come back. Age-related hearing loss is also known as presbycusis.
Ear Wax Build-Up
A build up of wax in the ear is a common cause of hearing loss. Once the ear wax is removed, hearing returns to normal.
Illnesses such as ear infections, acoustic neuromas, meniere's disease, and other non-cancerous growths can cause hearing loss. Hearing loss from illness can be temporary or permanent depending on the specific illness and severity.
About 75% to 80% of hearing loss is inherited. Otosclerosis is an example of a genetic condition that involves the bones of the middle ear that results in hearing loss. Genetic hearing loss is permanent but otosclerosis can often be treated.
An injury to the head or ear can cause damage to the anatomy of the ear and can cause hearing loss. Depending on the severity of the injury, the extent of the hearing loss and its permanency will vary.
Some medications, such as certain antibiotics, can cause hearing loss. Medication and other chemicals that cause hearing loss are called ototoxic medicines. The hearing loss is irreversible so the use of these medications is severely limited.
Neurological disorders such as a stroke or multiple sclerosis can cause hearing loss. If the auditory nerves are damaged by a stroke or multiple sclerosis, permanent hearing loss can occur in one or both ears.
Hearing loss is a relatively common disorder and nothing to be embarrassed about. At Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, we will work with you to help restore your hearing. Call us today to explore your options. In Springfield, call (413) 732-7426. In Northampton, call (413) 586-2033. Or call our office at Mary Lane Hospital at (413) 967-2249. We are awaiting your call!