Hearing loss


When hearing loss occurs, it stems from various factors impacting your auditory system. It can lead to difficulties in comprehending, tracking, or engaging in conversations. This impairment may hinder your work performance, communication with others, and overall enjoyment of life.

Gradual onset of hearing loss with aging, referred to as presbycusis, is prevalent. There are three distinct types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when something impedes the passage of sound through the outer ear (ear canal) or the middle ear.  
  • Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear over time. In some cases, sensorineural hearing loss can manifest rapidly as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) or sudden deafness, occurring either abruptly or over a short span of days
  • Mixed hearing loss occurs when there are problems in both the middle or outer ear (conductive hearing loss) and the inner ear (sensorineural hearing loss).

Hearing loss may arise from aging and prolonged exposure to loud noises. Factors like excessive earwax can also temporarily reduce the effectiveness of ears. Typically, hearing loss is irreversible, but there are methods to enhance your hearing abilities.


Symptoms of hearing impairment can encompass:

  • Feeling disturbed or bothered by background noise.
  • Avoiding certain social settings.
  • Speech and other sounds becoming muffled.
  • Difficulty comprehending words, particularly in crowded or noisy environments.
  • Challenges with hearing nonvowel letters of the alphabet.
  • Frequent requests for others to speak more slowly, clearly, and loudly.
  • The necessity to increase the volume of television or radio.
  • Experiencing ringing in the ears, referred to as tinnitus.

In case of a sudden hearing loss, especially in one ear, it is crucial to promptly seek medical attention. If hearing loss is causing difficulties, it is advisable to consult with your doctor. Agerelated hearing loss typically occurs gradually, making it easy to overlook in the initial stages.


Factors contributing to hearing loss comprise:

  • Inner ear damage: Aging and exposure to loud noise can lead to wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea, disrupting the transmission of sound signals to the brain. This damage results in impaired electrical signal transmission and, consequently, hearing loss. The perception of higherpitched tones may become muffled, and discerning words amid background noise may prove challenging.
  • Earwax buildup: Accumulation of earwax over time can obstruct the ear canal, impeding the passage of sound waves. Removing earwax can facilitate the restoration of hearing.
  • Ear infections, unusual bone growths, or tumors: Any of these conditions in the outer or middle ear can contribute to hearing loss.
  • Ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane perforation): Exposure to loud noises, sudden pressure changes, inserting objects into the ear, or infections can lead to the eardrum bursting, causing hearing impairment.

Risk factors

Factors that harm or contribute to the loss of hairs and nerve cells in the inner ear encompass:

  • Aging: The breakdown of the inner ear occurs gradually over time.
  • Loud noise: Exposure to loud sounds can harm the cells of the inner ear, whether through prolonged exposure or sudden, intense noise such as a gunshot.
  • Heredity: Genetic factors may increase the likelihood of experiencing ear damage from either loud noise or the aging process.
  • Occupational noise: Professions involving constant loud noise, such as farming, construction, or factory work, can lead to internal ear damage.
  • Noises at play: Exposure to explosive noises, like those from firearms and jet engines, can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss. Other activities with potentially harmful noise levels include snowmobiling, motorcycling, carpentry, or listening to loud music.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs, including the antibiotic gentamicin, sildenafil (Viagra), and certain cancer treatments, have the potential to damage the inner ear. High doses of aspirin, other pain relievers, antimalarial drugs, or loop diuretics can also cause temporary effects on hearing, such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or hearing loss.
  • Certain illnesses: Conditions like meningitis, accompanied by high fever, can inflict damage on the cochlea.