Causes of Hearing Loss

Soundwave Hearing Care

Learn About Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids & Audiology in Calgary

Hearing loss can affect people of any age, even children. Because being hard of hearing can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, we encourage you to learn about hearing loss, hearing aids, and audiology in Calgary and our other locations, as well as take steps to reduce your risk of ear damage.


Whether you love loud concerts or have suffered a head injury, listen up! Things that may cause hearing loss abound in our environment. To get more professional advice from our team, or to learn about our diagnostic services and hearing aid programmes, contact us at Soundwave Hearing Care today.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

While loud noise is a common cause of hearing loss, it is by no means the only one.

Exposure to Loud Noise

Sounds that are 85 decibels or louder can cause hearing loss after prolonged listening. However, a very loud sound – such as a gunshot or explosion – that lasts just one second can cause permanent hearing loss immediately. Thankfully, noise-induced hearing loss is avoidable. Simple precautions like wearing ear protection before entering a rock concert or construction site and limiting exposure time can help safeguard your ears.

Head Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause hearing loss. If you’ve suffered a blow to the head, whether through a car accident, fall, or blow to the head, this is a serious injury that should be checked out by a doctor right away. TBIs may do more damage than just cause hearing loss; sometimes, people can have trouble speaking or reading non-verbal cues.

Genetics

Sometimes, hearing loss can be inherited. This can take the form of syndromes like otosclerosis, Usher’s syndrome, and Pendred syndrome, as well as other genetic mutations that cause structural deformation of the ear. Other genetic factors may make a person be more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other things.

Natural Aging

It’s not uncommon to have to repeat yourself to grandma and grandpa! On average, our hearing starts to decline when we hit our 40s. It begins with experiencing more difficulty in hearing high-frequency sounds. This may mean having difficulty hearing consonants like f, k, p, s, and t because they are pronounced at higher frequencies. Age-related hearing loss is called “presbyacusis.”

Ototoxic Medications

Ototoxic medications are medications that may cause hearing loss and/or difficulty with balance. A preliminary sign of damage is tinnitus (ringing in the ears). If you notice signs of hearing loss that you believe is associated with a drug, talk to your doctor.

Illness

Certain illnesses like otosclerosis (a disease of the middle ear) and Ménière’s disease, which affects the inner ear, can cause hearing loss. Otosclerosis can be treated with surgery. Warning signs of Ménière’s disease include being sensitive to loud noises, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

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How to Avoid Hearing Loss

Thankfully, many causes of hearing loss can be avoided. Here are just a few ways:

  • If you’re at a concert or other loud event, see if you can take a break every 15 minutes and then allow your ears an 18-hour break afterwards to recover
  • Wear ear protection such as earplugs to loud events; musicians’ earplugs that lower volume instead of outright muffling sound may even increase sound quality in concerts!
  • Invest in noise-cancelling headphones – these will allow you to listen to music without having to turn it up to cover outside noise
  • Don’t use headphones for more than an hour at a time; give yourself a five-minute break once in awhile
  • Get your hearing tested! You can start with our One Minute Hearing Check.


If you want to learn more about reducing your risk of hearing loss, get in touch with us.

Types of Hearing Loss

Scientists divide hearing loss by the auditory system region impacted.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural describes hearing loss that affects the inner ear, or cochlea, as well as the brain’s hearing nerve. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging, loud noise, genetics, infections, and certain medications.

Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss happens when sound does not move properly through the middle ear, ear drum, and ear canal. This can be caused by excessive wax, trapped fluid, tumours, infections, ear drum damage, and more.

Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss simply means a mixture of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Both the middle and inner ear are affected.

Think You May Have Hearing Loss?

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, get your hearing tested and consult your physician. Don’t ignore the problem! While hearing loss is often permanent, modern medicine, audiology, and hearing aids have ways to maintain your quality of life.

If your hearing loss is sudden, contact your doctor right away. You may have a more serious injury.

Want more professional guidance? Contact us! Soundwave Hearing Care encourages all clients and visitors to learn about hearing loss, hearing aids, and audiology in Calgary, Lethbridge, and our other locations, by getting tested today.

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