What Causes Hearing Loss?

Noise Damage

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 Issues

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.



In many cases, trauma can lead to hearing loss. Depending on the type of trauma, mild to permanent hearing loss can occur. Common trauma observed includes concussions, TBI, or some other injury to the head or ear that damages the bones within the ear. When these bones are displaced, sound cannot enter through the ear properly, resulting in hearing loss.

Physical Obstruction

Physical obstructions can include ear wax, a foreign object, or even an insect in the ear canal. These can result in a blockage that does not allow the proper amount of sound to enter the ear. When this happens sounds will be dull, and it can feel like you are wearing an ear plug. To solve this hearing issue, the ear canal will need to be cleared of debris and all foreign objects removed.