What are the top causes of hearing loss?
You will be surprised that hearing loss ranks as the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States. Many of us take our hearing for granted and do not give it the importance it deserves. Here’s a look at some top causes of hearing loss.
Occupational hearing loss
Every year, around 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous occupational noise. In fact, occupational hearing loss due to high noise exposure is considered the most common U.S. work-related illness. One of the most common culprits are machinery, power tools and motorcycles. If you are exposed to high levels of noise at your workplace, protect your ears with ear plugs or ear protectors.
If a person experiences severe head trauma due to an accident or injury, this can cause hearing loss of various kinds. If the middle-ear bones are dislocated or if there is nerve damage, there may be permanent hearing loss.
When there are sudden changes in your ear pressure, say from flying or scuba diving, this may damage the eardrum, middle ear, or inner ear and hearing loss. Usually, this heals in a matter of few weeks, however, sometimes, it may be serious enough to require surgery. Never insert objects like pins and cotton swabs into your ears as this can cause damage.
Certain antibiotics and cancer drugs may cause hearing loss. Taking medication such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and acetaminophen on a long-term basis can up the risk of hearing loss.
Some chronic diseases unrelated to hearing may still cause hearing loss. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes can cause hearing loss of varying degrees. Besides these, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may also cause hearing loss.
Tumors and growths
Noncancerous growths such as osteomas, exostoses, and benign polyps may result in hearing loss as they can block the ear canal.