There are many different reasons why hearing loss might occur. Sometimes it can be a gradual thing, and in other cases, it can happen suddenly – even overnight. Hearing loss will fall into one of three distinct categories, including: conductive, sensorineural or mixed. Read on to find out what three of the most common causes of hearing loss are so you can be prepared and understand more about what it means for you.


By far the most common reason for anyone to develop hearing loss is aging. As we age, all our body parts will start to tire and wear out, and the ear is no different. In fact, age-related hearing loss is so common that around one-third of the adult population in the US between the ages of 65-75 have some form of hearing loss. For those over the age of 75, the number rises to one-half. Hearing loss is not guaranteed to be something that develops as you get older, as the figures above show. However, if there is a history of it in your family then it is more likely you will develop it yourself. Therefore, knowing your family’s medical history is useful; you can speak to an audiologist and be given all the information you could need to prepare yourself and ensure that your hearing is affected as little as possible.

Loud noises

Another very common reason for hearing loss is loud noises. This might come from working in a noisy environment, or it could be from a recreational activity such as attending loud music events and concerts. Whatever the noise happens to be, if it is loud enough and sustained enough, it can cause permanent damage to the hair cells within the ear, causing them to lie flat. When they can no longer stand up, hearing loss is permanent, so protecting them as much as possible by using special equipment like earplugs and ear defenders is crucial. Of course, another big problem when it comes to loud noises and the hearing loss, they can bring about are our personal devices when they are linked to earbuds and earphones. Having the noise effectively piped directly into the ear is damaging in itself, but the fact that this noise is often prolonged and louder than many users realize means that permanent hearing loss can very easily be a by-product.

Health conditions

Within the inner ear you will find some of the most delicate bones in the entire body, and because they are so delicate, they can be damaged easily. Some health conditions can cause this damage. They include chicken pox, Lyme disease, meningitis, hypothyroidism, mumps, syphilis, arthritis, some types of cancer and cytomegalovirus. An audiologist will help identify any hearing issues you may be experiencing, allowing you to get the proper diagnosis and treatment options.