Hearing loss can impact your ability to communicate with the world around you, whether you’re enjoying dinner with friends or presenting a meeting at work. To keep enjoying the sounds in your life for years to come, consider the following four factors that can contribute to hearing loss.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss
1. Exposure to Loud Noise
Your auditory system contains thousands of hair cells that convert sound into neural signals. They can also be damaged when exposed to loud noises. Exposure to loud noises — whether temporary or constant — can decrease your ability to hear. Avoid noise-induced hearing loss by wearing proper hearing protection when surrounded by loud sounds, such as at concerts, construction sites, or shooting ranges.
Another common reason for hearing loss is presbycusis, or the aging of the auditory system. As you age, the components of your auditory system begin to function less effectively. This means you may notice yourself struggling to hear during group conversations or asking others to repeat themselves frequently. Regular hearing tests with an audiologist will help you identify any signs of age-related hearing loss and take appropriate measures to adjust to your current hearing abilities.
3. Ototoxic Medication
Certain medications may be deemed ototoxic if they have adverse effects on the way your inner ear functions by damaging the cochlea or vestibulocochlear nerve, which play crucial roles in transmitting sounds to the brain. The most common ototoxic drugs include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, water pills, and quinine-based medications. Talk to your physician about the impacts of these medications, and ask if alternative options are available.
4. Earwax Impactions
One of the most common causes of temporary hearing loss is an earwax impaction. While your ears are self-cleaning, and wax helps carry dirt, dust, and debris out of the ear, a buildup of wax can cause a blockage. This blockage can lead to ear pain, temporary hearing loss, and balance issues. To alleviate hearing loss caused by earwax, an audiologist can remove the impaction to restore your hearing.
If you are beginning to notice the symptoms of hearing loss, contact the audiologist at Northwest Alabama Hearing Clinic in Hamilton, AL. The audiologist will conduct a full line-up of diagnostic evaluations to determine if you have hearing loss and can recommend the best treatment options for your specific needs if one is present. To learn more about risk factors associated with hearing loss, visit the clinic online or call 205-952-9944.
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