There are many possible reasons why people develop hearing loss. Environmental noise is a major contributor. Some loss of hearing is a natural part of growing older and some medications and medical problems can also be contributing factors to hearing issues.
Induced hearing loss
Induced hearing loss can be the result of exposure to sustained noise or from sudden loud sounds. Listening to loud music, working in a noisy environment and even exposure to constant traffic noise can all contribute to hearing problems.
Sudden loud noises such as gunfire or fireworks can cause a sudden hearing loss due to damaging the structures in your ear. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing you should seek medical attention immediately.
Age-related hearing Loss
Everyone experiences some hearing loss as they age. This is known as Presbyacusis.
It is caused by a loss of sensitivity in the tiny hair cells that line our inner ears. It normally starts when we are in their 30’s or 40’s. By the age of 80, half the population has moderate to severe hearing issues.
The first sounds affected are those in the higher frequency ranges. Women and children have higher frequency voices than men. That is why one of the first signs of age-related hearing loss are men’s voices sounding clearer than others around us.
There is no treatment for Presbyacusis. But, hearing aids, phone amplifiers, and other assistive hearing devices can help you maintain your quality of life.
Other contributing factors
There are many other factors that have been found to contribute to hearing loss. Genetics has been found to play a role as have many diseases and the drugs used to treat them. Certain types of tumors can also cause hearing problems.
Many lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking alcohol can also have long-term effects on your hearing. And, although the connections still aren’t completely understood, overweight people tend to suffer a higher degree of hearing loss.
While some degree of hearing loss may not be avoidable, living a healthy lifestyle and shunning loud noises can minimize the damage. If you realize that you do have hearing problems developing, seek help early. Proper diagnosis is key to limiting the damage your hearing may suffer.