Causes of Hearing Loss

For most people, hearing loss happens slowly. It may not seem serious at first, but left untreated, it often gets progressively worse.

The truth is, it’s usually a combination of things that causes hearing loss. Factors that can trigger or contribute to hearing loss include:


The most common cause, gradual hearing loss over time is called presbycusis.


If your parents or siblings have experienced hearing loss, there’s a greater chance that you will as well.

Long-term exposure to noise

Especially prevalent in people who have worked in noisy settings, including construction workers, musicians, and members of the military. This can also cause ringing in the ears, or tinnitus.

Medical conditions

Could include virus, bacteria, stroke, head injury, heart condition or tumor.

Certain medications

Some medications, known as ototoxic, can damage the inner ear. These include certain antibiotics, and even large doses of aspirin.

Earwax blockage

Excess earwax can harden in the ear canal and create a blockage in the ear.

Repeated ear infections

Though most common in children, adults can also get ear infections. They often result from upper respiratory infections or flu.

Fluid in the middle ear

The bones in the middle ear transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear, so fluid buildup in the middle ear can muffle or block sounds. Most common in children, this condition is usually temporary, but can cause permanent hearing loss over time if it becomes recurrent.


Smokers are 1.69 times more likely to suffer hearing loss than nonsmokers. People who live with smokers also have an increased likelihood of hearing loss.

No matter the cause, if you are experiencing hearing loss, the audiologists at Hearing Doctors of Kansas are here to help. Request an appointment today.

Sources: National Institutes of Health, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Journal of the American Medical Association