Hearing impairments can have a number of different causes, from health conditions to the natural aging process. Depending on the cause, a hearing problem can be temporary or permanent, can come on suddenly or progress slowly over time.
The most common causes of hearing loss include:
- Ear infections. The most common cause of hearing loss in children is an infection in the ear canal, which causes inflammation and fluid buildup behind the eardrum. In most cases, hearing loss from an ear infection is only temporary.
- Blockages. Anything that blocks the ear canal has the potential to affect hearing ability. Excessive earwax, tumors inside the ear, and foreign objects can all prevent the proper transmission of sound to the brain.
- Heredity. Genetics can play a role in the development of hearing disorders, such as birth defects, malformations in the ear structures, and inherited conditions that cause sensory impairment.
- Trauma. An injury to the head or neck may affect the brain’s ability to process the sounds it receives, while trauma to the inner ear or eardrum can prevent the cochlea from receiving sounds at all.
- Noise exposure. Exposure to loud noise is a major cause of sudden and early hearing loss, as well as causing tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Even constant exposure to low-level noises can gradually cause a loss of hearing ability.
- Medical conditions. Some chronic illnesses and diseases can result in hearing changes, as well as prescription medications taken to treat other conditions.
- Aging. Most hearing loss is a result of a breakdown in the structures of the inner ear, a natural result of the body as it ages.
Let Our Specialists Determine the Cause of Your Hearing Loss
Proper diagnosis of your hearing condition is key to getting proper corrective treatment. Our Philadelphia-area hearing care specialists can perform simple testing procedures and listen to your concerns about your hearing, getting you the treatment you need to live your life to the fullest. Call the number on this page to make an appointment with our office nearest you!