Hearing loss is one of the most common health issues in the world. Nearly one in five Americans age 12 and older experience hearing loss severe enough to interfere with daily communication. There are many different causes of hearing loss, but there are only 2 types of hearing loss: Conductive and Sensorineural.
- Conductive hearing loss happens when sounds cannot get through the outer and middle ear. It may be hard to hear soft sounds. Louder sounds may be muffled. It usually involves some type of obstruction in the ear.
- Ear wax buildup
- Foreign object in the ear canal
- Infections in the ear canal or middle ear
- Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
- Abnormal tumors or growths
- Hearing loss risk factors
- Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. This is usually age related. This type of hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the inner ear or the hearing nerve. It is usually permanent but can be treatable through amplifications through hearing aids. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:
- Exposure to excessive or loud noise
- Ototoxic medications
- Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
- Acoustic tumors
Hearing loss can be hereditary or just be a part of the natural aging process. It can be triggered by loud noises, infections, medications, or trauma to the head. Many people put off getting help for their hearing loss because they think it’s insignificant. Instead they just continue to ask others to repeat or turn up the volume on the TV even louder. For one’s hearing and cognitive health, everyone should get an annual hearing test.