Have you noticed a dip in your ability to hear others when they speak? If you’re an older adult, this is a common occurrence. The sense of hearing naturally diminishes over time due to age. But other causes of hearing loss aren’t related to age—some you can prevent, and some you cannot.
Take a peek at your family history to see if it’s common for your family members to experience hearing loss over time. If you want to learn more about why adults lose their hearing, you’re in the right place. Here are the most common reasons for hearing loss in adults.
Excessive Loud Noise
If you love to crank the stereo to 11, then you may be paying for it via hearing loss. Loud music can lead to hearing loss over time, often accumulating in older age. Sudden loud noises such as explosions can cause hearing loss immediately.
Noise-induced hearing loss doesn’t cause any pain, which is why it’s dangerous. Sadly, hearing loss due to loud noise is permanent and irreversible.
If you have a hole in your eardrum or suffer from a TBI (traumatic brain injury), you’ll notice a loss in hearing. This can also occur if you have damage to your middle ear. Take extra care with your hearing after any head injury, and talk to an audiologist if you notice your hearing is fading.
Certain types of medications can cause hearing loss in adults. Make sure to talk with your doctor about all your prescribed medications. They’ll let you know if any of them cause hearing loss. Here’s a list of drugs known to cause hearing loss in adults:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics: These include neomycin, kanamycin, and streptomycin. These antibiotics are all known to cause hearing loss.
- Some chemotherapy drugs: If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, check with your doctor to see if any of the drugs cause hearing loss.
- Large amounts of aspirin: It’s best to take aspirin in small doses, if at all. If you take too much, your hearing may diminish.
A middle ear disease called otosclerosis makes it hard for the tiny bones in your ear to move, causing hearing loss. However, you can treat it with surgery. An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor or hearing specialist will be able to locate the source of the problem and provide treatment options.
By now, you should better understand the most common causes of hearing loss in adults. Check with your doctor to ensure that your medications won’t cause you to lose your hearing, and take extra care of your ears in the meantime.