In a person with normal hearing, the sound waves enter in through the outer ear. They then travel through the inner ear and into a shell-like tube known as the cochlea, which is full of fluid. When the fluid moves it makes thousands of minuscule hairs convert the vibrations from the sound into nerve impulses. It is these impulses that are then sent into your brain to be processed into a sound that you are able to recognize.
Loss of hearing occurs when there is an issue with the ear structures that are responsible for processing sound. Any of the following conditions could lead to loss of hearing in an individual:
• Age – As people age, the structures within the ear tend to get more elastic. The tiny hairs inside of the ear end up damaged and they are less likely to respond to the sound waves. Hearing loss is something that can occur over a lengthy time span.
• Loud Noises – Being exposed to any number of loud noises, such as airplanes, firearms and loud music on a personal device can all cause damage to the cochlea. Depending on the loudness of the noise, your hearing impairment may be worse or less. It also depends on the amount of exposure you have with the loud noise.
• Ear Infections – During the course of an ear infection, an individual may end up with an excess of fluid in the middle ear. Normally the loss of hearing during ear infection is only temporary and pretty mild. However, if you have an ear infection that is not properly rated, it may end up leading to a long-term loss of hearing on a more more level.
• Perforated Eardrums – Ear infections, loud noises, trauma to the head and an intension pressure within the eardrum from flying on an airplane or going scuba diving can all cause a hole to form in the eardrum. The membranes end up separating from the ear canal and the middle ear, which ends up leading to mild hearing loss without there is another problem that is unknown.
• Infections and Illnesses – Some of the conditions that have led to hearing loss in the past are measles, meningitis, Meniere's disease and mumps.
• Tumors – It does not matter if the tumor is cancerous or not because either one can lead to substantial hearing loss. This can also include meningioma and acoustic neuroma. People who are dealing with a tumor may also have some numbness and weakness in their internal area, along with a ringing sound in the ears.
• Foreign Objects Within the Ear – Whenever there is an object stuck in the ear canal, it can cause a blockage in the hearing. Even though earwax is the sticky substance that helps to prevent bacteria and other foreign objects from being able to enter into the ear canal, it can sometimes be the leading cause of hearing loss. There is the possibility that the earwax will build up and end up hardening inside of the ear, which ends up muting the person's ability to hear.
• Malformed Ear – There are some people who are born with ear structures that are not properly formed, which can prevent them from being able to hear effect.
• Trauma – An injury such as punctured eardrum or fraction in the skull can lead to different levels of hearing loss.
• Medications – There are certain types of drugs that can cause hearing loss, including: antibiotics, large amounts of aspirin, drugs for chemotherapy, Vicodin and macrolide antibiotics. Some of the time the hearing loss from these drugs is only temporary and once you cease taking the drug your hearing will return to normal. However, most of the time the hearing loss you incur is permanent and there is no way to reverse it.
• Genes – Studies have shown that a lot of people experience hearing loss because of something that runs in their genes, especially when it is hearing loss related to age. When it comes to genetic hearing loss, the vast majority of cases are typically diagnosed with the problem right from the very beginning.