5 Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss

hearing loss patient holding hand to ear expressively

Did you know that hearing loss is the world’s third most common health problem? It’s a problem that affects millions of people yet many don’t even know they have it This blog post will discuss five surprising causes of hearing loss If you are affected by any of these issues it is essential to get your hearing tested by a hearing instrument specialist HIS as soon as possible!

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two common causes of hearing loss that you may not have considered When you’re stressed your body goes into fightorflight mode releasing a hormone called cortisol Cortisol can cause inflammation throughout your body including in your middle ear

That inflammation can lead to temporary or even permanent hearing loss In addition stress puts your body in flight or fight mode leading to high blood pressure Over time high blood pressure can damage the tiny blood vessels in your ear causing hearing loss

Anxiety can also cause problems with your hearing People who experience anxiety disorders often experience what’s known as misophonia which is an extreme dislike of certain sounds Misophonia can make everyday noises incredibly bothersome and even painful leading to avoidance behaviours like staying inside to avoid triggering sounds Over time this isolation can worsen anxiety and increase the risk of hearing loss

If you’re struggling with stress or anxiety it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional There are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and protect your hearing

Smoking and Vaping

Smoking and vaping are not only bad for your lungs but they’re also bad for your hearing The addictive chemical nicotine restricts blood flow to all parts of your body including your ears This can cause hearing loss and tinnitus If you smoke quit It’s never too late to improve your hearing health In addition the mixture of flavouring used in ecigarettes contains a substance called propylene glycol This has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the ear canal

Secondhand smoke is also harmful to your hearing If you live or work with someone who smokes ask them to smoke outside If they refuse try to create some distance between you and the smoker Opening a window may also help reduce the amount of secondhand smoke in the air

Illness and Medications

Illness like meningitis or mumps can also cause hearing loss In addition certain medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs can have hearing loss as a side effect If you think your medicine is causing hearing loss talk to your healthcare practitioner about switching to a different drug Many different medications can cause hearing loss as a side effect

These include some antibiotics cancer medications diuretics and even aspirin If you are taking any medication ask your healthcare practitioner if hearing loss is a possible side effect Ototoxic medications can damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss This type of hearing loss is usually permanent

Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Hearing Loss

Lack of sleep can lead to several health problems including hearing loss A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who slept for less than six hours a night were more likely to experience hearing loss than those who slept for eight hours or more

If you’re not getting enough sleep your body isn’t able to repair itself as effectively and this can lead to damage to your auditory system If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep talk to your HIS about ways to improve your sleep habits


Hearing loss can also be passed down from generation to generation However heredity is the most common cause of hearing loss

There are several types of hereditary hearing loss but the most common is sensorineural hearing loss This hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve It can be caused by a mutation in a gene passed down from generation to generation

If you have a family history of hearing loss you may be more likely to experience hearing loss yourself If you have concerns about your hearing you must talk to a hearing instrument specialist They can help you determine if you are at risk for hereditary hearing loss and offer ways to protect your hearing

Hearing loss is a common problem that can significantly impact your life There are many different causes of hearing loss some of which may surprise you If you think you might be experiencing hearing loss you must see a hearing instrument specialist They can help you determine the cause of your hearing loss and offer ways to treat it; for more information on hearing loss contact Beltone Hearing Center Lethbridge on 4039424327