Hearing Through the Ages – Working Adults

Hearing Through the Ages – Working Adults

Hearing loss is not just for seniors and hearing loss can occur at any age!


Here is a quick description of some common causes of hearing loss.


  • Wax:
    • It is normal to have wax in your ears. In some, the wax builds up and can cause a temporary hearing loss.
  • Ear infection:
    • An ear infection occurs when there is a build-up of fluid in the middle ear space (behind the ear drum) and the fluid is infected. Ear infections are common in childhood. When there is fluid behind the ear drum it can cause a temporary hearing loss. Recurrent ear infections over time can also cause permanent damage to hearing.
  • Damage to the ear drum
    • Damage to the ear drum from trauma or ear infection can cause a conductive hearing loss. Depending on the size of the hole in the ear drum it may heal on its own but larger holes may need medical intervention.
  • Otosclerosis:
    • Otosclerosis is a conductive hearing loss caused by abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear. It prevents the normal movement of the middle ear bones in response to sound.  Otosclerosis may be genetic and occurs in females more often than males.
  • Noise exposure:
    • Noisy work environments or hobbies have the potential to damage hearing over time.  Hearing loss from noise exposure is due to damage of the hair cells in the cochlea and is a sensorineural hearing loss. Noise exposure causes the most damage from 3000 to 6000 Hz. With continued noise exposure hearing loss is progressive.
  • Medications :
    • Certain medications can be ototoxic or damage the inner ear causing hearing loss, tinnitus or balance problems. Some medications can cause permanent damage while others may be reversible. Some common ototoxic medications are chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin and some antibiotics such as gentamicin. Other medications that can cause hearing loss include loop diuretics, and quinine.
  • Meniere’s disease
    • Is characterized by the symptoms of hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus and fullness in the ears. These symptoms of often occur in attacks and the disease can be progressive. The cause of Meniere’s Disease is not well understood but is caused by an increase of pressure within the inner ear called endolyphatic hydrops.
  • Sudden Hearing Loss:
    • Sudden hearing loss is a rapid onset of hearing loss in one or both ears that occurs within a 72-hour period.  In 85-90% of cases the cause of sudden hearing loss is unknown.

There are many other causes of hearing loss including: head injury, Meningitis, Autoimmune disorders, Ramsay hunt syndrome, cytomegalovirus, Lyme disease, Craniofacial syndromes and many others.