What causes hearing loss?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Genetics and damage from a variety of sources can cause hearing impairment. The children of a deaf parent can inherit deafness. Pregnancy and childbirth complications can cause hearing impairment, such as prematurity, oxygen deprivation, jaundice, infections. Chronic ear infections can damage the ear to the point of hearing loss. Infectious diseases like measles, mumps and meningitis can impair hearing, most often in children. Taking ototoxic drugs at any time can affect hearing ability. Sometimes hearing impairment is caused temporarily by blockage of the ear canal by wax or more permanently by the insertion of an object in the ear. Exposure to excessively loud noise (music, gunfire, explosions, machinery) can hurt the inner ear's ability to function. Age can also be a factor in hearing impairment after prolonged noise exposure over the years.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.