Types and causes of hearing loss

Types and causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss is the inability to hear sound in one or both of your ears, partially or entirely. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), roughly 25% of people aged 65 to 74 have hearing loss. Usually, hearing loss develops gradually over time.

Hearing loss is also known as:

  • a decline in hearing
  • deafness
  • hearing loss
  • hearing loss conductive

The outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear are the three major components of the ear. The eardrum, the tiny layer of skin between the outer and middle ear, is where hearing starts as sound waves travel through it. The eardrum vibrates when sound waves enter it.

The ossicles are the three bones that make up the middle ear. These comprise the stirrup, anvil, and hammer. As sound waves move on to the inner ear, the eardrum and ossicles intensify the vibrations.

The cochlea’s fluids are where the sound waves pass before they enter the inner ear. The inner ear has a snail-shaped structure called the cochlea. The cochlea contains nerve cells that are covered in thousands of tiny hairs. These hairs assist the sound wave vibrations in becoming electrical signals, which are subsequently transmitted to your brain. Your brain perceives these electrical signals as sound. These tiny hairs respond differently to sound vibrations, signaling various sounds to your brain.

Types of hearing lose

All ages are affected by hearing loss, which has many diverse causes. Sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss are the three fundamental types of hearing loss.

Loss of Sensorineural Hearing

When the hearing nerve or the inner ear is harmed, hearing loss of this kind results. This loss typically happens when the cochlea’s hair cells sustain trauma.

The most typical form of hearing loss is sensorineural. Aging, exposure to loud noise, trauma, illness, some medications, or a genetic condition can all contribute to it. Hearing aids can be helpful for many people with this hearing loss, even though it is typically not treatable through medicine or ear surgery.

Loss of hearing in the sensors suddenly

A few days may pass before a person experiences acute sensorineural hearing loss. It is essential to visit an otologist (a physician specializing in ear problems) immediately. The likelihood that medication can help with this illness will be reduced if treatment is delayed (two or more weeks after the onset of the symptoms).

Conduction-related hearing loss

When sound waves cannot travel through to the inner ear, hearing loss of this type develops in the outer or middle ear. Earwax or a foreign item in the ear canal may be blocking sound, fluid, an infection, or a bone anomaly may obstruct the middle ear space, or the eardrum may have been wounded.

Some people with conductive hearing loss may be cured through medical intervention or surgery. Children with repeated ear infections or those who place foreign items in their ear canals are more likely to develop conductive hearing loss.

Uncertain Hearing Loss

A person may occasionally experience both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. They might already have conductive hearing loss in addition to sensorineural hearing loss.

Finding out exactly what kind of hearing loss you have and the best hearing care option for you depends on the results of a hearing test. Numerous sizes, designs, and technological possibilities exist for hearing aids and innumerable alternatives.

Adult Hearing Loss

Presbycusis is the medical word for hearing loss caused by aging. Due to aging-related changes in the ear or auditory nerve, people over the age of 50 may gradually lose their hearing over time. A person with presbycusis might find it difficult to tolerate loud noises or hear what others say.

Adult hearing loss can also result from the following:

  • Loud sounds
  • Head injury
  • Heredity
  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Specific prescription medications
  • Circulatory issues, including hypertension

Initial Hearing Evaluation

When you are an adult, it is a good idea to get your hearing examined at least once as part of your yearly physical. The majority of individuals had their most recent hearing test when they were in elementary school. This test serves as your baseline so that your audiologist may assess the severity of your hearing loss. If you develop hearing loss, your hearing loss may be the best course of treatment for you to compare your current hearing to your baseline.

What signs of hearing loss are there?

Gradual hearing loss is possible. You might not even be conscious of your hearing loss.

Most persons with hearing loss don’t experience any pain. Instead, you may see that:

  • Frequently ask people to repeat themselves
  • Finding it difficult to comprehend conversations, especially over the phone or in a restaurant, or believing that other people mumble
  • Unable to hear some high-pitched noises
  • The radio or TV volume has to be increased
  • Feel the pressure, a fluid sensation, or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), as well as ear pain
  • Experience vertigo or balance issues.

Child hearing loss symptoms include:

  • Not being alarmed by loud noises.
  • Not turning when you announce the child’s name or when you hear sounds (after a child is six months of age).
  • Reacting to some sounds but not all of them.
  • Speech problems include not being able to speak “dada” or “mama” by age 1.

Causes of hearing loss

The most common causes of hearing loss are exposure to loud noises or natural aging. The most typical reasons for hearing loss include the following:

  • Aging
  • Exposure to noise
  • Head injury
  • A virus or illness
  • Genetics
  • Ototoxicity

Things that can cause sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Aging
  • Injury
  • Excessive noise exposure
  • Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
  • Shingles
  • Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
  • Meningitis
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High fever or elevated body temperature
  • Ménière’s disease (a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance)
  • Acoustic tumors
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension

Things that can cause conductive hearing loss are:

  • Middle ear or ear canal infections that cause an accumulation of fluid or pus
  • Eardrum perforation or scarring
  • Buildup of wax
  • Middle ear bone displacement (ossicles)
  • An external body in the ear canal
  • Otosclerosis  (an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)
  • Unusual tumors or growths

What healthcare providers diagnose and treat hearing loss?

If you are having the feeling that you can be a patient with hearing loss, consult a:

Audiologists: They are trained to examine and evaluate your hearing in order to determine your specific listening and communication needs. They assist in selecting the proper hearing aids and other hearing device technologies, which frequently involve hearing aids (cochlear implants and osseointegrated implants). The majority of audiologists are audiology doctors. All medical professionals are not audiologists. Otolaryngologists frequently collaborate with audiologists or hearing aid specialists. Together, they can take care of all your hearing problems and improve your improvement.

Hearing aid specialists: They are qualified to administer hearing exams after passing a state examination. You can get a hearing aid fitting there.

Otolaryngologists: They are medical professionals who specialize in the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). They perform surgeries and prescribe medications to treat ear issues and hearing loss.


Many people are affected by hearing loss. Living life while hearing distorted noises or missing out on discussions can be unpleasant and disheartening. You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for assistance. Your healthcare professional can decide how to improve your hearing so that you can again be aware of the sounds around you. The hearing aids of today’s generation are much more subtle and compact.

Searching for the most excellent medical care and best hearing loss treatment? With the assistance of ACE ENT Hospital, you can receive world-class care. Dr. Simple Bhadania is one of the reputable ENT specialist doctors delivering top-notch care.