Hearing Loss

Causes of Hearing Loss

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the partial or total inability to hear. Hence, the causes of hearing loss depend on many factors. Read on to know more.

World Health Organization predicts that by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people may have some degree of hearing loss. Further, over 1 billion people are at risk for permeant hearing loss. Especially due to unsafe listening practices. Therefore, this statistic is alarming and one should be concerned. So, hearing health should be given importance. Furthermore, hearing loss can be seen in both children and adults. So, in this blog, we are talking about the reason of hearing loss.

What are the causes of hearing loss?

Hearing loss is caused by many factors. To understand this, first, let’s talk about types of hearing loss.

The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) reports three basic types of hearing loss. This is,

  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Mixed hearing loss

The type of hearing loss depends upon the part of the ear which is damaged. Further, ASHA states, hearing loss occurs due to several underlying causes. Further, the causes of hearing loss depend on the type and the population involved. Overall, the causes are enlisted below.

Causes of hearing loss in children can be:

  1. Congenital hearing loss or hearing loss in children
  2. Infections, such as rubella or herpes simplex virus
  3. premature birth
  4. low birth weight
  5. birth injuries
  6. drug and alcohol use while pregnant
  7. jaundice and Rh factor problems
  8. maternal diabetes
  9. high blood pressure while pregnant
  10. genetics and syndromes

Causes of hearing loss in adults can be:

  1. Acquired hearing loss or hearing loss after birth
  2. Ear infections.
  3. Medicines that are toxic to the ear
  4. Meningitis
  5. Measles
  6. Encephalitis
  7. Chickenpox and Flu
  8. Mumps
  9. Head injury
  10. Loud noise exposure

Therefore, let us talk in detail about the causes of hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is when the sound is unable to travel from the outer to the middle ear. Further, it means there is damage in the outer or middle ear. A person with conductive hearing loss finds it hard to listen to soft sounds. Most often, this type of hearing loss is temporary. The right treatment can alleviate hearing loss. Some causes of conductive hearing loss are:

  • Ear infections or otitis media
  • Wax build-up in the ear canal
  • Object stuck in the ear canal
  • Ear canal infections or otitis externa
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Eardrum perforation
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Congenital deformities in the outer ear

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is when the sound is unable to travel from the external ear to the auditory center of the brain. Further, any damage to the inner ear, nerve pathways, or the auditory center of the brain causes this type of hearing loss. Many times, this type leads to permanent hearing loss. A person with this hearing loss finds it hard to hear normal or even loud sounds. So, some causes of Sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Congenital birth defects
  • Genetic hearing loss
  • Aging
  • Noise exposure
  • Exposure to medications toxic to ears/ ototoxic medicines
  • Trauma to head and skull
  • Tumor or neurological diseases
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular and balance disorders
  • Infections such as measles, mumps, and rubella

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is when both conductive and Sensorineural hearing loss occurs at the same time. Further, this means there is damage to the outer, middle, and inner ear. Hence, a person finds it hard to hear soft, normal, or even loud sounds. Furthermore, any factor that gives rise to conductive or Sensorineural type leads to mixed hearing loss.


Hearing health is of utmost importance. If we can’t hear, it is a serious health concern. Hence, protect your hearing today. So, to read more on hearing loss, click here.

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Ayesha Anjum
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