Hearing loss is far from uncommon. Some of the causes are chronic, such as aging, whereas others are caused by sudden changes, such as injury or contracting certain diseases. However, by the age of 65 and up, as many as one in two people have some form of hearing loss.

Here, we’re going to look at the three most common causes of hearing loss, whether there’s anything you can do to prevent them, and how you should cope with them.

Excessive noise

Loud noises are the most common danger to the ear in modern environments beyond aging. There are a variety of ways that excessive noise can cause hearing loss, too. For instance, sudden short bouts of extreme noise, like a gunshot close to your ear, can permanently and instantly damage your hearing. Being close to a loudspeaker, such as during a concert can be just as dangerous. But to most people, the danger of excessive noise is gradual and repeated. Power tools, loud vehicles, sporting events and dealing with firecrackers all cause more noise than is healthy to the ear and repeated exposure can lead to some degree of permanent hearing loss. One of the key concerns regarding excessive noise today is loud music, like listening to music on your phone through headphones at the highest available volume. Limiting your exposure to loud noises and wearing protective gear for the wear when appropriate, like when working on a construction site, can reduce the damage that excessive noise causes.

Infection

Otitis media, which is the inflammation of the ear, can occur during an ear infection. This is the most common cause of short-term hearing loss in children and can impact adults regularly too. While treating the infection can restore your hearing, damage caused by the swelling can lead to long-term damage, which is why you should seek treatment from the doctor for an infection as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is to cause permanent hearing loss.

Aging

As mentioned, your chances of having some kind of hearing loss drastically increase over the age of 65. Changes can occur in the inner and middle ear as we age, as well as complicated changes in the neural pathways between the ear and the brain. However, aging isn’t necessarily the single cause in itself. It tends to be when other issues like long-term excessive noise, high blood pressure, and diabetes are also much more likely to cause issues with your hearing. It’s a risk factor more than a direct cause. You may have perfectly good hearing well into your 70s and suffering hearing loss when you’re younger. It’s simply much more important you have more regular hearing tests with an audiologist as you age.

If you’re concerned that you’re suffering from hearing loss, don’t delay. Get in contact with your audiologist today. You can arrange a hearing test and get information and advice on how to treat existing loss as well as to prevent further damage to your ear.