Hearing loss is a condition that everyone knows about, but there are many people with hearing loss who weren’t expecting to experience it for themselves. Hearing loss can be caused by a number of different factors, and if you’re going to avoid hearing loss yourself, you want to be sure you’re aware of the dangers and what can damage your hearing.

Not all causes of hearing loss are permanent, and you may experience it only temporarily, but it’s worth knowing about should you ever experience it for yourself. Here are some of the lesser-known and more surprising causes of hearing loss.

Medication Side-Effects

You may not be expecting to start experiencing hearing loss as a result of your new medication, but as it turns out – hearing loss can be caused by some medications. A few medications that are prescribed for things like heart disease can also cause damage to the cells in your inner ear, which will cause you to experience hearing loss. It doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but higher dosages may come with greater risks.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss after starting a new medication, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to the doctor who prescribed them to see about having them switched out for an alternative.

Illnesses

There are also some illnesses that can bring hearing loss as a side effect, and some can even cause permanent hearing damage due to the effects they have on the inner ear. If you catch the flu, you might start to experience a sensation that your ears are blocked, despite nothing being inside your ear. This is caused by a buildup inside your sinuses, which traps fluid in the tubes of your middle ear.

COVID-19 has turned up a few cases of connected hearing loss, and while it is only temporary, it can have the same effect as the flu. The hearing loss may also last for short duration even after the infection is gone.

Trapped Water

We expose our ears to water all of the time. Going swimming, taking a bath and even just a quick shower. Your ears are waterproof for the most part, but it’s best to make sure you’re not deliberately getting water inside your ears. If the water somehow gets trapped, which is more likely to happen if you have excess wax inside your ear – it can lead to an ear infection.

These infections will cause inflammation in the ear, as well as potential hearing loss. To get rid of this infection quickly, seeing an audiologist may point you in the right direction of getting some antibiotics for you to spray into your ear. Just like with other illnesses, the hearing loss may linger for a short while after the other effects are gone.

Stress

It might sound unlikely, but stress can in fact cause you to experience hearing loss and damage to your inner ear. Stress is something that is much more than what you’re thinking about. It can have a negative effect on your entire body, not just your hearing. That’s not to say that any amount of stress can damage your hearing, but a constant amount of excessive stress can be dangerous and risky. Stress disrupts your blood flow when you’re experiencing it, and consistent disruptions could cause your inner ear to not receive enough oxygen, permanently damaging it.

If you experience excessive stress on a daily basis, you should visit a doctor to ensure you have some way to wind down and process your situation better. There are medications that can help, as well as healthier coping mechanisms to improve how you deal with situations.

An Unhealthy Diet

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with eating the wrong foods from time to time, and there aren’t always going to be consequences for what you eat. However, if you are severely overweight, you might be more at risk of hearing loss than you previously thought. Having excessive fats in your body can also disrupt the flow of blood. You may experience things like blood clots and heart conditions, which can also lead to permanent hearing damage.

The vitamins that you consume are also very important. Neglecting to consume enough vitamin B12 can cause the same effect, so be sure you’re eating a balanced diet.

If you’re concerned about your hearing and want to learn more from an audiologist, you should reach out to the Pacific Audiology Clinic as soon as possible. You can call us today at 503-719-4208.

Tags: causes of hearing loss, hearing loss basics