In Tune with Excellent Service

Causes & Effects of Hearing Loss

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When you mishear due to the effects of hearing loss, you miss out on important communication and environmental sounds happening all around you. Grace Hearing and Language Services specializes in helping you to become a part of the conversation and educate you on the causes of hearing loss as well as the effects of hearing loss on your daily activities. See information on the causes of hearing loss below, followed by information on the effects of hearing loss.

According to research, major causes of hearing loss include:

Aging (Presbycusis)

Presbycusis is a combination of genetics, individual pathophysiology (diseases or injury conditions), and environmental exposures that occur over time. It is the most common cause of hearing loss.

Diabetes

Neuropathy and arteriosclerosis may cause hearing loss by effecting neural activity and blood flow in the cochlea (inner ear — organ of hearing).

Smoking

First-hand and second-hand smoking have been determined to cause hearing loss. Nicotine and other chemical additives in cigarettes (formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, arsenic, vinyl chloride, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, etc) are ototoxic and/or vestibulotoxic. They also restrict blood flow in the cochlea.

Ear Infections

Chronic and long-standing, untreated ear infections may cause temporary and/or permanent hearing loss from fluid, inflammation, or pus accumulation in the middle ear.

Recreational Drugs

Some recreational drugs, such as heroine, are responsible for causing hearing loss because they are mixed with other drugs that have ototoxic properties.

Birth Defect

Congenital, family-related, or childhood illnesses may also cause hearing loss.

Prescribed Medications

High doses of antibiotics may cause hearing loss, such as those in the class of aminoglycosides (gentamicin, streptomycin, and neomycin).

High Blood Pressure

Fatty deposits may develop, restricting blood flow to the blood vessels in the ear. Similar to diabetes and heart conditions – high blood pressure effects blood flow in the entire body.

Injuries to Ears or Head

Pressure changes may rupture the ear drum and a blow to the head may cause dislocation of the middle ear bones. A common culprit of injury to the ears are items that individuals place inside their own ears, such as q-tips or bobby pins.  Watch the video below on why it is dangerous to put anything inside your ears.

Exposure to Hazardous Noise

Impact noise (such as firecrackers or gunfire) may cause immediate and permanent hearing loss. Other hazardous noise exposure may cause hearing loss over a longer period of exposure, but it’s much easier to detect because it causes no pain and usually goes undetected until it is too late. This kind of hearing loss is usually 100% preventable (music concerts, loud machinery such as lawn mowers/leaf blowers/drills, using headphones/earphones turned up too loudly, etc.).

Effects of Hearing Loss may be detrimental to your quality of life, emerging in the following ways:

  • Irritability and Anger
  • Fatigue, tension, and depression
  • Avoidance of social interactions
  • Social rejection and loneliness
  • Reduced alertness
  • Impaired memory
  • Reduced performance on the job
  • Diminished cognitive performance

Do you have questions about the causes of hearing loss?

Contact Grace Hearing and Language Services to answer your questions and take charge of your hearing!