What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hearing Loss?

smiling senior cupping her hand to her ear

Hearing loss is a common problem that affects millions around the world. It can affect individuals in different ways, from having difficulty with everyday activities to not being able to hear a loved one speak. Although there is no set cause of hearing loss, audiologists diagnose and treat the most common types of deafness.


As we age our ears start producing less earwax naturally as well as shrink slightly which leads us to lose our ability to hear certain frequencies. Presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss is the most common cause among adults over 65 years old. It occurs when there are changes in the inner ear that make it more difficult to hear high frequencies. This type of hearing loss is typically not preventable, but you can make an audiologist appointment if you think your hearing might be deteriorating at a quick pace

Degenerative Hearing Loss

This is the most common type of hearing loss and is often caused by loud noise over time as well as a genetic predisposition, which means it can be passed down through your family’s genes. This type will usually happen gradually so symptoms may not be noticed until later in life

Noise Exposure

This type of hearing loss occurs when sound waves are blocked or impaired as they travel through the outer ear to the middle and inner ear. This may be caused by impacted wax, fluid in your ears, infection or physical damage to your eardrum due to trauma such as a perforated eardrum or an ear infection.


Physical trauma such as drums or loud explosions can cause serious damage to the inner ear which could lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. It’s extremely important to protect your eardrums when engaging in activities that are likely to lead to traumatic injury because you will not recover any of your hearing if the eardrums are ruptured

Ear Infections

Ear infections can cause damage to the middle ear, which could lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. They’re more common among young children and babies because their immune systems have yet to fully develop so they cannot fight off infections in the ear as effectively.


Impacted earwax can cause a blockage that prevents sound from entering your ears, causing temporary or permanent hearing loss. If you think this might be affecting, you it’s important to make an audiologist appointment so they can remove any wax buildup with special tools and prevent further hearing loss.

Prescription Medications

Certain medications can cause hearing loss, usually only temporary but it’s important to talk with your audiologist about any new medication you are prescribed by a doctor because they might have ototoxic effects that could exacerbate the damage caused by noise exposure.

An audiologist diagnoses and manages people with all types of hearing loss from those with mild to severe degrees of impairment as well as providing preventive counseling for patients at risk of developing hearing problems.

Hearing loss can be caused by several factors. Early detection is key to minimizing damage to delicate structures in the ear. Your audiologist can help you identify different types of hearing loss, including medical conditions that contribute to the problem and provide audiological management and audiological devices to help you better hear and understand sounds.