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What are the Most Common Causes of Hearing Loss?
The most common causes of hearing loss are noise-induced hearing loss, age-related hearing loss, and hereditary hearing loss. This article will discuss the different types of hearing problems and what you can do to prevent them in the future.
Noise-induced hearing loss is a condition that can be due to overexposure to loud noise. Some common noise-induced hearing problems are riding motorcycles, working in construction, and attending concerts or other events with amplified sound systems.
The following steps should help you to prevent this type of hearing problem:
- Limit your exposure: The louder the volume, the shorter the time before damage occurs
- Use hearing protection: Protect your ears by wearing earplugs or other devices
- Limit the use of headphones and turn down the volume. Headphones can cause permanent damage to your ears, so limit their use and keep them at a safe volume
Age-related hearing loss is common in older people because hair cells cannot regenerate as quickly over time. One type of age-related hearing problem is presbycusis which affects one out of four adults aged 65 years or older exposed to loud sounds for many years. However, this condition does not affect all older adults equally, with about 50% experiencing some form of it.
Hereditary hearing loss is a condition that can pass down from parents to their children, and it affects one out of every two thousand people. One example of hereditary hearing loss is Usher Syndrome which has three forms: types I, II, and III (common).
You can characterize these three conditions by progressive worsening of deafness from an early age with Type I, the mildest form, where some residual hearing is still possible. In contrast, Type III presents as profound sensorineural deafness.
Ear Wax Build-up
Some people experience a build-up of wax in the ears, blocking sound waves and leading to hearing problems. It is called cerumen impaction (or earwax blockage). Excessive production of this material may be caused by allergies or certain medications, while accumulation due to not cleaning often enough will have no underlying cause.
Several steps can help you prevent wax-related hearing loss, such as:
- Clean your ears regularly – Use water and a soft cloth or cotton swab
Preventing This Type of Hearing Problem
- Avoid any harmful activities. Limit your exposure to noise, so you do not experience noise-induced hearing loss
- Wear earplugs for long periods. Use products that will help to block out the sound and protect your ears.
Hearing protection is not always enough, so you should also take care to avoid any activity or substances that could lead to irreversible damage, such as drugs or alcohol abuse. Try not to smoke either because nicotine can make wax worse and create a build-up in the outer part of your ear canal, which leads to severe issues down the line when it hardens in there.
There are many causes of hearing problems. Educating yourself on the common causes of hearing loss will help you to protect your hearing better.