Most people know that the most common cause of hearing loss is the natural aging process. However, if you feel you’re still too young to be experiencing the level of hearing loss you’ve noticed recently, there’s a chance some other issue is affecting your ears. It’s important for you to take immediate action when you notice your hearing loss, as the ability to hear and translate sounds is a significant part of your everyday life. Losing that ability can affect your quality of life in a major way.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common causes of hearing problems beyond just old age. An audiologist in Pierce County, WA can tell you more about your specific symptoms.
The problem might be something as simple as a big buildup of wax in your ear canals. If this is the case, it’s relatively easy to resolve this problem.
When earwax builds up and gets wedged in the ear canal, it can result in a disturbed conduction of sound waves. You can prevent this buildup by maintaining good ear hygiene through regular cleanings of your ears. But when the buildup occurs, there are a couple options for removing it. The most effective option is usually flushing it out with water, which is something an audiologist can do for you. In some cases, the use of a special pick might be necessary. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference removal of the clump of earwax can make for your hearing!
Exposure to loud noises
Exposure to loud noise for a long period can result in damage to your inner ears over time. This can often be a result of your working environment. People who work in mining, construction or in loud concert settings, for example, are more likely to experience hearing loss than people who work in quiet office environments. Those loud noises will wear down the nerve cells that are tasked with transmitting sound waves to your brain. As they wear down, the sounds will become muffled, and it will make it harder for you to hear certain sound tones. This type of hearing loss is unfortunately permanent.
Inner ear trauma
Inner ear trauma caused by blasts of noise, sudden changes of air pressure or having an object stuck too far into the ear can cause the eardrum to rupture, and the more that happens over time, the more it will affect your quality of hearing. This is one of the reasons why doctors say you should not use cotton swaps to clean your ears—sticking them into your ears could result in damage to your eardrum.
Infections and other medical issues
Ear infections, tumors and abnormal bone growth can all affect your hearing in certain ways. You’ll need to see a doctor to address these issues.
For more information about the most common causes of hearing loss, we encourage you to reach out to an audiologist in Pierce County, WA at Harbor Audiology & Hearing Services, Inc.