What Causes Hearing Loss?
Noise is a major contributor to permanent hearing loss. When we are exposed to loud noises (firearms, heavy machinery, concerts, power tools, etc.) without proper hearing protection, we are damaging the small hair cells inside of the ear. When these hair cells are damaged, they will break and die off, resulting in permanent hearing loss.
Infections in the ear canal, middle ear, or inner ear can cause hearing loss. This can often be treated with medications through a primary care physician or Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Doctor. If these infections are left untreated, they can become very painful and cause permanent hearing loss, in some cases even requiring surgery.
Congenital hearing loss means there is hearing loss present at birth. The cause is often unknown but should be treated as soon as possible. Congenital hearing loss can be a result of another disorder, complications at birth, or genetics. Often this type of hearing loss is discovered shortly after birth, but sometimes it is missed and discovered years later.
Just like our vision, our hearing can also decline as we age. People often start to notice that their hearing is not as good as it once was. They may notice their TV is louder than it should be, they might start to miss a conversation, and often ask people to repeat what they said. Once you reach the age of 50, it is recommended to have a hearing evaluation to determine the status of your hearing.