What Causes Sudden Hearing Loss?

Reviewed by Dr. Porter on October 31, 2019

The majority of hearing loss occurs gradually over long periods of time. However, sudden hearing loss does occur on occasion, and if it does, it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.

Below are just a few examples of some of the most common causes of hearing loss. For more information about hearing aid accessories in Pierce County, WA that might be able to help in your situation, contact Harbor Audiology & Hearing Services Inc. today:

  • Ear damage: There are a variety of ways your inner ear can become damaged. It could simply be a result of the natural aging process, or it could be a result of long-term exposure to loud noises (this is especially a problem for people who work in noisy industries). Some forms of trauma to the head can also result in inner ear damage that can be difficult or impossible to reverse.
  • Ruptured eardrums: You might experience a sudden loss of hearing due to a ruptured eardrum, which can occur after loud blasts of noise, sudden significant changes in air pressure, having your eardrum poked with an object or an ear infection progressing in the ear and causing it to rupture. When your eardrum bursts, this will obviously have a detrimental effect on your hearing.
  • Ear infections: Ear infections in the outer or middle ear can cause hearing loss if the infection progresses to a certain point, indicating you need to go to the doctor to get the issue checked out.
  • Growths and tumors: Abnormal bone growths or tumors can produce similar results to ear infections when they occur in the middle or outer ear. Again, if you feel as though you have an abnormal growth in your ear, it is important that you get to the doctor as soon as possible to have the issue checked out.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax gradually builds up in your ear over time, so this is more likely to result in a gradual loss of hearing than a sudden one. When it clumps up, earwax can block your ear canal and prevent sound waves from being properly conducted through the ears. Removing the earwax can help you restore your hearing. There are a variety of methods of removing earwax, the most common and effective of which is to flush out the ears with water.

There are certain risk factors you should be aware of that make both sudden and gradual hearing loss more likely. As previously mentioned, long-term exposure to loud noises makes it much more likely that you will eventually experience some degree of hearing loss. Part of this could be occupational noises, such as manufacturing or construction work, or work as an audio engineer for bands or live shows.

Use of certain medications is also associated with a higher risk of hearing loss, including use of some chemotherapy drugs, Viagra and gentamicin.

Finally, your own genetics can have an influence on your likelihood to experience hearing loss at some point in your life. If you have a family history of hearing loss, it becomes more likely that it will affect you at some point as well.

For more information about getting custom hearing aids in Pierce County, WA if you’ve been suffering from hearing loss, contact Harbor Audiology & Hearing Services Inc. today.

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