Statistics show that an estimated 19% of the Canadian adult population experiences hearing loss while millions of children are affected too. If you are one of them, it would be easy to attribute it solely to natural aging or exposure to loud noises. While they are two leading causes, there are many other contributing factors to consider.

Visiting your local hearing instrument specialist is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis that covers the severity of hearing loss as well as the root cause. Nonetheless, it is important to familiarize yourself with some of the potential causes of hearing loss ahead of your appointment. Here are five causes you need to consider.

Stress

Stress is a leading contributor to a wide range of health issues and is often heavily linked to hearing loss either as the root cause or as a trigger. 

When you regularly experience heightened stress levels, it will cause hypertension that subsequently leads to hemorrhaging in the ears. In turn, you may experience tinnitus symptoms as well as temporary or permanent hearing loss. A conscious effort to avoid and manage stress is vital. When tinnitus is the cause of stress, your hearing instrument specialist may be able to help by pointing you towards hearing aids that play white noise to mask the symptoms.

Hearing loss that is attributed to stress may be experienced in either one ear or both ears. By minimizing stress in your life, you may notice a significant improvement – as well as several additional health benefits.

Illness

It probably shouldn’t surprise you that health issues with one body part can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. Still, it is one of the most commonly overlooked causes by far.

Blockages and inflammation caused by minor viral infections and influenza may lead to temporary hearing difficulties. Moreover, meningitis and other conditions that cause high temperatures can put individuals at risk of permanent hearing loss, while Type 2 diabetes is also linked to a heightened threat. In addition to illnesses, you should be aware that some medications can affect your hearing, especially when they damage cells within the structure of your ear.

NSAIDs, diuretics and antibiotics are all commonly prescribed medications that may cause hearing loss as a side effect. Seeking alternative treatments may prevent this issue.

Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for their respiratory health and general wellbeing. However, you may not be aware that it can cause you to experience mild to moderate hearing loss too.

Nicotine prohibits the auditory signals from the brain by blocking out neurotransmitters, which makes it difficult to process noises. Moreover, smoking can result in progressive degeneration of the cells within the lining of the middle ear region. Studies have subsequently shown that smokers are 60% more likely to experience high-frequency hearing loss and 20% more likely to experience low-frequency hearing loss. Hearing loss with this route cause is often permanent too.

Former smokers show a heightened risk compared to individuals who never smoked, but quitting does bring a significant reduction.

Barometric Pressure

If you have ever experienced a ‘popping’ in the ears when flying or using the subway, these are examples of barometric pressure changes. And they can cause hearing loss.

The good news is that this type of hearing loss is usually temporary, although it can last for days in severe cases. Chewing gum or wearing ear defenders can help prevent this issue and reduce the severity of symptoms. Your hearing instrument specialist will enable you to find the right defense to match your lifestyle and situations where barometric pressure is most likely to occur. You should also be aware of pressure changes when swimming as another potential cause of temporary loss.

Most people will experience this issue at least once, but it usually passes within seconds. If you have prolonged exposure to the symptoms of barometric pressure changes, taking the appropriate action is key.

Lifestyle choices

Most Canadians understand the importance of wearing the right ear defense when working with loud sounds. But taking care around noisy environments isn’t the only lifestyle choice that affects your hearing.

While moderate exercise will promote health benefits, excessive high-intensity workouts can cause temporary hearing loss due to tinnitus, dizziness, and inner ear membrane damage. It is important to take care over the volume of your music too. Meanwhile, poor nutrition can impact the blood flow to your ears.

Finally, inadequate sleep patterns can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms, which may subsequently cause you to experience temporary or permanent hearing loss. If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact Beck Hearing Aid Centre at (888) 618-3778 and book an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist today.