Some of the major causes of severe hearing loss include:
As people grow older, all the organs fail to work as efficiently as in the prime of life. Your ears are no exception. Old age is the most common and inevitably one of the top causes of hearing loss. It is medically termed as “presbycusis”. It happens due to ageing of the nerves and cells of the inner ear.
Genes determine much of our characteristics, physical conditions, mental abilities, immunity, etc. Heredity is the second most common cause for loss of ear functions according to hearing loss statistics. If any of the genes that are responsible for hearing come with defects from a parent, it may result in hearing loss in the offspring. There are two types of hereditary hearing loss:
o Progressive – The condition worsens gradually with time.
o Non-progressive – The condition is stable without any variation with time.
Dominant genes affect the offspring more assuredly and can go on till generations. Recessive genes, on the other hand, are not always as effective as the dominant ones.
A number of illnesses are also responsible for loss of hearing in humans. These are:
Measles – It can be a factor in causing hearing loss.
Meningitis – This infectious disorder may also affect hearing ability.
Autoimmune diseases – Disorders characterized by abnormal immune system functioning like Wegener’s granulomatosis has been detected as a cause of hearing loss of late.
Epidemic parotitis – This acute viral disease may also lead to hearing loss.
Presbycusis – It is a common disease that is caused due to old age and affects hearing ability. It makes a person sensitive to loud noise.
Adenoid – If this lymphatic tissue does not fade away by adolescence, it may continue growing and even block the Eustachian tube, leading to conductive hearing injury and nasal infection that can stretch till the middle ear.
Immune System Disorders – People suffering from AIDS and ARC are more prone to hearing abnormalities.
HIV – This dreadful condition might also be a factor in affecting the hearing ability with direct implication.
Chlamydia – This sexually transmitted bacterial infection may lead to hearing loss at the time of birth, as it is transmitted from parents to offspring.
Fetal alcohol syndrome – This complex condition causes hearing loss to new born babies of alcoholic mothers.
Premature birth – Hearing loss is also evident in babies who are born prematurely.
Syphilis – This common veneral disease is sometimes transmitted from mothers to babies and leads to deafness.
Otosclerosis – The disease leads to hardening of the middle ear, eventually leading to hearing loss.
Superior canal Dehiscence – Sometimes a space develops in the bone cover over the middle ear. It is called the superior canal dehiscence. This gap can lead to low-frequency conductive hearing loss along with many other diseases.
Some medications damage our audibility and leads to hearing loss. The major compositional set is the Aminoglycosides and chemotherapeutics. Chemotherapeutics which are platinum-based such as cisplatin are among those that lead to hearing loss and are thus restricted in its use.
Many other chemical compositions used for medications may lead to hearing loss. The list comprises of some diuretics, NSAIDs and aspirins and macrolite antibiotics.
Disclosure to ototoxic chemicals
Some specific drugs and metals like lead, solvents like toluene crude oil, gasoline and automobile exhaust also affect hearing loss. These ototoxic chemicals combine with noises directly affects hearing loss. Some of the ototoxic chemicals like styrene, exposed to noise have higher threats of hearing loss.
The following list provides an exact index of ototoxic chemicals:
Drugs – Antibiotics, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, diuretics, antineoplastic can often affect hearing capabilities.
Solvents – Styrene, xylene, ethyl benzene, n-hexane white spirits, toluene, carbon disulphide, fuels, trichloroethylene, p-xylene and perchloroethylene may be a cause for hearing loss.
Asphyxiants – Hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide can also be a reason for hearing impairment.
Metals – Metals like mercury, organotins and lead are also reasons for hearing incapability in some persons.
Pesticides – Organophosphates, paraquat and other pesticides may also cause hearing problems in some people.
An infection of the middle ear or ear canal can lead to hearing loss.
Injury in the head might damage the structure of the ear and lead to sudden hearing loss; it can be temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Noises above the comfort level of the ears can affect people of all ages. Generally, it develops over a period of time. Sometimes, with a massive explosion of sound some people lose audibility. Even recreational sounds at a very high decibel can add up to hearing loss. If the sound suddenly grows too loud, one may get tinnitus or the temporary unpleasant ringing sounds.
Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
Children more prone to otitis media can also suffer from hearing loss. A passage between middle ear and the back of the throat called eustachian tube is much smaller in children than adults. Thus, children are at a higher risk of choking the passage.
So, if you or any of your known ones is suffering from hearing loss, do not neglect it and get some medical help as soon as possible. As you must have guessed by now, hearing loss can be an indication of some serious health complication. In certain cases, it may also lead to unnecessary health problems. So, it is advisable that you consult an expert physician at the earliest sign of any hearing impairment.