Did you know that almost 15% of U.S. adults have some type of hearing loss? That's a surprisingly high number, and it underscores the importance of understanding the causes of hearing loss.
This post explores three major causes of hearing loss.
Exposure to Loud Noises
One of the most common causes of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. This can be from a one-time event, such as a firecracker going off next to your ear, or from chronic exposure to loud noises over time.
Repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. Some common sources of noise that can reach these levels are motorcycles, snowmobiles, and firearms.
But it's not just outdoor activities that can be harmful to your hearing. Indoor sources of noise that can reach 85 decibels or higher include hair dryers, blenders, and vacuum cleaners.
You can protect your hearing by avoiding loud noises when possible and wearing earplugs or other hearing protection when you can't avoid them.
Ototoxic medications are those that are poisonous to the ear. These medications can damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss.
Some ototoxic medications can damage the hair cells in the inner ear. These cells translate sound waves into electrical signals that the brain can interpret as sound. Other ototoxic medications damage the nerve fibers in the ear that carry these electrical signals from the hair cells to the brain.
There are many ototoxic medications on the market today. These medications include certain antibiotics, cancer treatments, and diuretics. If you are taking any of these medications, be sure to ask your doctor about the risk of hearing loss. There are often alternative medications that are just as effective but don't carry the same risk.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the gradual loss of hearing that occurs as you age. Hearing loss is very common, affecting nearly half of adults over the age of 75.
There are a few factors that can contribute to age-related hearing loss. These include changes in the ear structures, damage to the hair cells from exposure to loud noise, and changes in nerve function.
Age-related hearing loss often has no cure, but it can be treated by using hearing aids or other assistive devices. These devices can help you to hear better and make communication easier.
If you think you may be experiencing age-related hearing loss, contact a hearing service expert for a comprehensive hearing evaluation. This way, you can get the treatment you need to improve your hearing.
Contact healing loss services to learn more.