The world's #1 website on hearing and hearing loss
Since 1999

Causes of hearing loss

What causes hearing loss? One of the major causes of hearing loss is ageing. Another common cause of hearing loss is exposure to noise.

We all lose our hearing sooner or later.

Hearing loss is a natural consequence of getting older. Our hearing ability worsens from our 30s or 40s and onwards and when we reach our 80s, more than half of us suffer from significant hearing loss. Despite that, more than half of all hearing-impaired people are of working age. Read more about age and hearing loss.

Another common reason for hearing loss is exposure to noise.

We live in a noisy world. Noise may come from our work or from voluntary exposure to noise, such as noisy motors or loud music at rock concerts, night clubs, discos and from stereos - with or without the use of headphones. Also the increasing use of portable MP3 players are causing hearing damages. The players are capable of delivering high sound levels and the user risks exposing their ears to highly excessive dB levels. Read more about noise and hearing loss.

Hearing loss may also occur as a result of disease, infections or drugs. It may be inherited or be a result of physical damage to the ears or serious injuries to the head.

Conductive vs sensorineural hearing loss

Hearing loss can either be conductive or sensorineural. Some people suffer from both, which is called a mixed hearing loss.

Causes of sudden hearing loss

The causes of sudden sensorineural hearing loss vary widely. Among the many possible causes of sudden hearing loss are e.g.: Viral infections, tumours, traumas and drugs.

Causes of hearing loss in children

Hearing loss in children can be inherited or can be caused by illness or injury.

Please use our articles

You are very welcome to quote or use our articles. The only condition is that you provide a direct link to the specific article you use on the page where you quote us.

Unfortunately you cannot use our pictures, as we do not have the copyright, but only have the right to use them on our website.