Hearing Advisor


 
 

What causes hearing loss?

 

There are a number of different reasons why someone might be suffering from a hearing loss. This can either be inherited genetically, acquired from illness, drugs, exposure to loud noise, tumours, head injury or the ageing process.

Age

Of the one in six people in the UK who have a hearing loss, many are older people who have lost their hearing naturally through the ageing process. This slows down the regeneration of the hair cells and is irreversible.

Ear trauma

Experiencing pain in the ear alongside your hearing loss usually indicates an infection, obstruction or trauma. If you are suffering from an infection in the ear you may also have a high temperature or fever, and feel generally unwell. You should seek medical assistance in this instance, as infections may initially be a temporary cause of hearing loss, but there is a risk that they can become permanent if left untreated.

Acoustic trauma

Acoustic trauma is the exposure to loud noises over a lengthy period of time, which causes damage to the cochlea's tiny hair cells, which lose their sensitivity. Barotrauma is damage caused by pressure, generally found in divers. Head trauma, causing fractures to the temporal bones on the side of the skull, can cause disruption to auditory nerves.

Infections

Infections such as mumps, influenza, herpes and meningitis can cause damage to the nerves and hairs, as can vascular diseases including diabetes, leukaemia and sickle cell disease. Ménière’s disease, which starts with tinnitus and can progress to deafness and vertigo is also a sensorineural cause of hearing loss. Sometimes a benign tumour called an acoustic neuroma can develop on the nerves of the inner ear - this may cause hearing loss, dizziness and ringing.

If you are worried about your hearing contact your GP or make an appointment at your local hearing care centre.




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