Hearing impairment can happen to anyone. Some people are born without the ability to hear and others develop impairment due to certain factors that can be genetic or environmental. Hearing Center Online would like to help you understand the causes of hearing impairment. There are several different possible causes.
Heredity – The first possible cause is heredity. This means that if hearing problems or the specific cause thereof is present in the parents or grandparents of a child, he or she may inherit those problems and also develop hearing impairment.
Infections – Infections of the middle or inner ear can cause hearing impairment. Infection may interfere with the functioning of the ear structures in such a way that it causes permanent damage. The middle and inner ear areas are where the delicate structures are found that channel the sounds to our brain and help us hear.
Fluid in the ears – When water or other fluids enter the ear it can cause damage. Water from swimming a lot can cause permanent damage. Fluids that build up due to colds can also cause damage. It is important to try and always keep your ears dry and checked for fluids after a cold.
Ototoxic drugs and chemicals – Certain medicines and other chemicals have been known to cause damage to the ears and cause hearing problems. If you already experience some problems with hearing or know that you may have a genetic condition, you should check with your doctor about prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Some commonly used medicines have been linked to causing or worsening hearing problems.
Allergies – Allergies may affect the functioning of the ear and cause hearing problems. Sinus problems may be a contributing factor. If you or your children suffer from frequent allergies, consult your doctor about the risks of hearing impairment.
Excessively loud noises – Hearing impairment can be caused due to over-exposure of loud noises. Explosions, loud music, gunfire, etc. are all things that can cause permanent damage. People who serve in the defence forces and are around gunfire and explosions all the time may develop impairment early on. Listening to very loud music continuously can also cause impairment. It is not a myth your parents came up with. Construction workers are also at risk.
Malformation – If parts of the ear did not form or develop correctly that can cause deafness or severe hearing impairment. There can be different reasons for malformation including birth defects, substance abuse, heredity, etc. Any of the three parts of the ear can be malformed and cause problems.
Hearing impairment can result from different causes. Some are caused and others are inherent. The ones that are caused can often be prevented if you take good care of your ears. Look at our tips on caring for ears and hearing here. You can also learn more about the causes here and here. If you have any of your own stories to tell us about how hearing impairment developed, please visit our WRITE FOR US page.