In adults, the most common causes of
hearing loss are:
Noise. Noise-induced hearing loss can affect
people of all ages and most often develops gradually over many years. Over
time, the noise experienced at work, during recreation (such as riding
motorcycles), or even common chores (such as using a power lawn mower) can lead
to hearing loss.
age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), changes in the
nerves and cells of the
inner ear that occur as you get older cause a gradual but steady hearing loss.
The loss may be mild or severe, but it is always permanent.
Other causes of hearing loss include:
or an object in the ear. Hearing loss because of earwax is common and easily
Ototoxic medicines (such as certain antibiotics) and
other substances (such as arsenic, mercury, tin, lead, and manganese) that can
damage the ear.
Injury to the ear or head. Head
injuries can also damage the structures in the ear and cause a sudden hearing
the middle ear after a cold or the
flu, or after traveling on an
Otosclerosis, a condition that affects
the bones of the middle ear.
Acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor on the nerve that helps people
Ménière's disease. Ménière's disease
may result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
(benign) growths, such as exostoses, osteomas, and glomus
tumors. These can cause hearing loss if they block the ear
canal. Exostoses are bone growths that often develop when the ear canal is
repeatedly exposed to cold water or cold air.
Other medical conditions that do not affect the ear
directly may also cause hearing loss.
An interruption of the blood flow to the inner ear or parts of
the brain that control hearing may lead to hearing loss. This may be caused by
high blood pressure, or