- Noise is the No. 1 cause of hearing loss. The louder the sound, the less time we have to listen to it safely. Any sound 85 dBA (busy city traffic) or louder causes hearing loss. You can listen to the busy city traffic level of noise for 8 hours every week before damage begins to occur in the average ear. Few of us realize that listening to an MP3 player at about level 5 is enough to cause hearing loss in 15 minutes of listening a day! Exposure to a hairdryer for just less than an hour and riding your snowmobile for about 30 minutes can do the same kind of damage to your hearing. Go to the average Denver Broncos game and you have less than 15 minutes! It isn’t just chainsaws and power tools that give hearing loss. If you play your violin at maximum levels you have less than 2 minutes of exposure time before hearing loss is occurring. Being exposed to loud sound regularly or a very loud sound even once (like a gun shot or being next to the speakers at a club or concert) can all cause significant hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss is why the average age of a person with hearing loss is getting younger every year. We are seeing significant noise induced hearing loss in every age group from children on up with teenagers and very young adults being the fastest growing group.
- It can be genetic. Some people are born deaf, hearing impaired, aquire hearing loss at any point after birth through adulthood due to a genetic cause or have a greater risk to acquire hearing loss with noise exposure.
- Hearing loss can result from complications during pregnancy or birth.
- You can experience hearing loss as you age.
- A head trauma or blast injury can cause hearing loss.
- Medical conditions such as diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Meniere’s Disease, brain tumors, circulatory and autoimmune disorders, transient ischemic attack and Vestibular Schwannoma can all cause hearing loss. Sometimes, hearing loss is the first symptom.
- Many medications can damage your ears, which can lead to hearing loss, balance difficulties, dizziness and/or tinnitus. As a matter of fact, over 900 over-the-counter, prescription and herbal drugs can cause damage to your ears. Such medications include: chemotherapy drugs, aspirin, NSAIDS (including ibuprofen and naproxen), loop diuretics, certain types of antibiotics, heart medications, anesthetics, glucocorticosteroids and erectile dysfunction medications. Medications sold as naturals, teas, colonics, vitamins, and herbals when taken alone or when in certain combinations with prescription or other herbal medications or at certain levels can cause dizziness, tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
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