There are many types of acquired hearing loss, with just as many causes. From the aging process to exposure to loud noise, your hearing can be damaged in a variety of different situations. To better understand what you are experiencing, consider the following types of hearing loss and what the most common causes are.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss affects the sound as it transmits between the inner ear and the outer ear. This can happen as the result of impacted wax in the ear canal or failure of the tiny bones inside the middle ear. There are three bones in total and they pass along sound waves to the inner ear.

Another example of conductive hearing loss would be failure of the eardrum. When this happens, the eardrum doesn’t vibrate in response to sound waves. A build-up of fluids in the middle ear could dampen the overall vibrative movement in the eardrum for example.

Sensorineural hearing loss

This hearing loss happens when the inner ear becomes damaged. Hearing loss can be caused by disease, but it can also be caused by trauma. It can also be caused by the cochlea. It may be that the rest of the ear, including the three tiny bones and the eardrum itself are all working but the electrical impulses that are sent out are not able to reach the brain.

What causes temporary hearing loss?

Some of the many causes of temporary hearing loss can include:

  • Earwax: The ear canal essentially secretes something known as cerumen. This is a very waxy substance that helps to lubricate and protect the tissue inside the ear. If you have a build-up of wax, then this can block the ear canal – which leads to short-term hearing loss.
  • Ear infections: Ear infections can also cause temporary hearing loss. This can also include otitis externa, which is an infection of the outer ear.

What causes hearing loss?

There are many causes of hearing loss, some of which may develop over time. Here are some causes of hearing loss:

  • Hereditary disorders: Hereditary disorders can cause you to lose your hearing over time. Parents will pass on the genes that cause this condition to their children and as the ear develops, malfunctions occur.
  • Prenatal exposure: A baby can be born with hearing problems that do not become noticeable until they are much older. This can happen if they are exposed to things such as mumps or influenza in the womb.
  • Noise: Loud noises which include gunshots, explosions, firecrackers or anything else of the sort can all damage the mechanisms that are inside the ear. It may be that you are stood next to someone, but they need to shout for you to hear them. It’s possible to protect your hearing if you reduce the amount of exposure you have to loud noise or if you simply wear a suitable level of protection. This can include earmuffs or even earplugs.
  • Trauma: Perforation of the eardrum, changes in air pressure or even a fractured skull can all cause you to experience hearing loss.
  • Disease: Diseases that include meningitis and chickenpox can all cause hearing loss too. Jaundice, in severe cases has also been linked in the past to hearing loss. Some of the other causes include Meniere’s disease, along with exposure to chemicals.

Age-related hearing loss

Hearing loss becomes much more acute as you age. The main reason for this is because the clarity in which you can hear is often affected. Age-related hearing loss normally begins with you losing the ability to hear higher frequencies.

Words or speech sounds that include s, f and even t can all sound the same. You may be able to hear people, but you may struggle to hear what they are saying.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sensation of noises without any environmental sounds. You may hear buzzing, ringing, whistling, humming or even crickets. Some of the triggers can include a middle ear infection, damage to the eardrum as the result of loud noises or any other related conditions.

If you want to learn more about hearing loss, then contact Advanced Hearing of Brighton. You can call us at 810-355-2245 and when you do, you can count on us to give you the hearing support you need.