What Causes Hearing Loss?

Most of us take our hearing for granted, until we start to lose it—and once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back. It’s normal to lose some hearing as we age—about a third of people between the ages of 65 and 75 experience it, and half of people after age 75. However, you can also lose your hearing much earlier in life. Read on to learn about what can cause hearing loss, then visit your local hearing aid center in Vancouver, WA to get a hearing evaluation.

Common causes of hearing loss

Here are some of the most common causes of hearing loss, along with information about how these issues might arise:

  • Age: As mentioned earlier, age-related hearing loss is extremely common, and there’s not much you can do to prevent it. The best way to minimize the damage is to protect your hearing now, and get hearing evaluations more often as you get older.
  • Ear infection: Ear infections can harm the sensitive parts of your middle and inner ear, resulting in hearing loss.
  • Ear growths: Similar to ear infections, abnormal bone growths or tumors in your ear can interfere with your ability to hear. They also tend to attack the middle and inner ear.
  • Ruptured eardrums: Ruptured eardrums don’t always lead to hearing loss, but they make it much more likely. Your eardrums can rupture from occurrences like poking a cotton swab in your ear canal, sudden pressure changes, infections and loud blasts of noise.
  • Earwax buildup: If you’ve got a lot of earwax buildup, it can interfere with your ear’s ability to process sound waves. Luckily, this can be resolved with earwax cleaning—but don’t use a cotton swab!
  • Damage to the inner ear: Your ear is full of tiny hairs and nerves, which help process sound waves. Over time, they experience wear and tear from aging and loud noises. As these areas are damaged, your ears are less able to process high-pitched sounds or pick out conversations among background noise.

How to prevent hearing damage

There are two major ways you can prevent hearing loss. First, it’s important to have your hearing regularly tested, especially if you work around loud noise. Many people don’t even realize their hearing is going, thanks to being surrounded by constant high-decibel sounds.

Second, you need to protect your ears, whether you’re at work or enjoying recreational activities. If you work around heavy machinery or other loud noise, make sure to invest in a good pair of earmuffs or plastic earplugs. Glycerin-filled earmuffs are particularly effective.

If you love going to loud concerts, using power tools, hunting or participating in other hobbies that involve loud noise, it’s just as important that you protect your ears then, too. Even if you only occasionally indulge, it will still have a cumulative effect on your hearing. (This is another good reason to get regular hearing tests.)
Staying on top of your hearing health pays off. Make sure you take care of yourself by visiting your local hearing aid center in Vancouver, WA. Schedule a test by calling Vancouver Hearing Aid Center today!