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Hearing Loss

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss occurs in most people as they age. Research has clearly shown hearing loss negatively impacts quality of life, overall health, personal and professional relationships, and your ability to communicate. It has been estimated that 90 to 95 percent of all cases of hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids.

Hearing loss is the most common birth defect in America and is the third most common chronic ailment among older adults. Hearing loss can be caused by aging, noise exposure, ear infections, ototoxic medications, head or ear trauma, congenital or hereditary factors, disease and many other causes.



  • Osteogenesis imprefecta
  • Hurler syndrome
  • Leopard syndrome (multiple lentigines)
  • Waardenburg syndrome
  • Robinson type ectodermal dysplasia
  • Kartagener syndrome
  • Cockayne syndrome
  • Fronto-metaphyseal dysplasia syndrome
  • Bjorn pili torti and deafness syndrome
  • Morquio syndrome
  • Multiple synostosis syndrome
  • Trisomy 13
  • Hunter syndrome
  • Multiple legtigines syndrome
  • Taybi oto-palato-digital syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Hereditary nephritis
  • Stickler syndrome
  • Mohr syndrome


  • Rubella syndromegenetic hearing loss
  • Cengenital atresia of the external auditory canal
  • Congenital crytomegalovirus
  • Congenital perilymphatic fistula
  • Fetal methyl mercury effects
  • Fetal iodine deficiency effects


  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Ear infection (otitis media)
  • Scarlet fever


  • Traumatic perforation of the eardrum
  • Skull fracture (temporal bone)
  • Acoustic trauma such as explosions, fireworks, gunfire, rock concerts, earphones
  • Barotrauma


  • Aminoglycoside antibiotictoxic hearing loss
  • Ethacrynic acid – oral
  • Aspirin
  • Chloroquine
  • Quinidine


  • Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis)


  • Any occupation with exposure to loud noises on a continuous day-to-day basis can result in hearing loss due to nerve end damage. Increased attention to conditions in the work environment has markedly decreased the likelihood of work-related hearing loss.


  • Meniere’s disease
  • Acoustic neuroma

Temporary hearing loss:

  • Build up of wax in the ear canal
  • Foreign body lodged in the ear canal
  • Injury to the head
  • Allergy
  • Blocked Eustachian tubes
  • Scarred or perforated eardrum
  • Ear infections (chronic otitis externa, chronic otitis media, malignant otitis externa)
  • Reaction to medication such as aminoglycosides, chloroquine, quinidine


Untreated Hearing loss

Untreated Hearing LossUntreated hearing loss can be frustrating and isolating to patients. According to a study by the National Council on Aging, people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression and anxiety, and tended to participate less in social activities than those who obtain treatment for their hearing loss. However, according to the NCOA study, persons who seek out and receive treatment for their hearing loss will often report benefits that include better relationships with their families, better feelings about themselves, improved mental health and greater sense of independence and security.


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