Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through the ear canal. This causes the eardrum and tiny bones, called the hammer and anvil, in the middle ear to vibrate. Then vibrations travel to the fluid in the cochlea where microscopic hairs send nerve signals to the brain so sound is understood. If any of these parts are damaged or pathways are blocked, it can cause hearing loss.
Many childhood illnesses can cause hearing loss. Ear infections can cause the middle ear to fill with fluid and cause hearing loss that usually clears when the infection and fluid are gone. Other infections may cause damage to the middle or inner ear and permanent hearing loss. Diseases known to affect hearing in children include chickenpox, encephalitis, influenza, measles, meningitis, and mumps. Vaccines can help protect your child from several of these diseases.
Some children are born with hearing loss. This is called congenital hearing loss. Though congenital hearing loss often runs in families, it can occur with maternal diabetes or an infection when pregnant. Hearing loss can also develop if a newborn is premature or from other causes such as trauma during birth resulting in the infant not getting enough oxygen. Neonatal jaundice may also be responsible for some cases of neonatal hearing loss.
Hearing weakens as you grow older. This can happen even if you protect your ears all your life. Usually, age-related hearing loss is caused by the progressive loss of inner-ear hair cells. There's no way to prevent this type of hearing loss.
Nearly 17%. adults have some degree of hearing loss. Sometimes it is caused by very loud and sudden noises. Firecrackers, gunshots, or other explosions create powerful sound waves. These can rupture your eardrum or damage the inner ear. This is called acoustic trauma. The result can be immediate and may result in permanent damage and hearing loss.
Loud concert? Ringing in your ears afterward? That’s called tinnitus. The average decibel level at a rock show is 110, loud enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes. Hearing damage can occur with extended exposure of any noise over 85 decibels. Other risky sounds include leaf blowers and chain saws. Normal conversation registers at 60. Tinnitus can last for hours, days, weeks, or permanently. To prevent hearing damage or loss, use earplugs and limit your exposure.
Using headphones can cause temporary or permanent hearing changes. The louder the volume and the longer listening time, the greater your risks may be. For safer listening, lower the volume and limit listening time. more