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Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is invisible and nearly always painless. It can also develop over time. If you suspect that you or a loved one is experience hearing loss, take a look at the assessment or visit a hearing healthcare professional to have a hearing test.

Hearing loss has many causes, but the most common include:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Family history
  • The natural aging process

There are two major types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive. Here's a quick overview of each:

Sensorineural loss, where damage has been done to the microscopic hair cells in the ear, is the most common. The vast majority of people with this kind of loss benefit from amplification like hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss is the result of structural damage to the ear. This kind of loss can be caused by:

  • Impacted wax
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Middle ear effusion (escape of fluid into the middle ear behind the eardrum)
  • Otosclerosis (a condition in which the bones of the middle ear become immobile because of bony growth)
  • Cholesteatoma (accumulation of tissue in the middle ear caused by repeated middle ear infections)
  • Congenital anomalies

Hearing loss can also be caused by:

  • Ototoxic drugs (certain antibiotics)
  • Viral and toxic illness
  • Disturbances of fluid in the inner ear

Find out more about the effects of these hearing losses, assess your or a loved one's symptoms or contact an Audibel hearing professional to schedule an appointment.