Causes of Hearing Loss

The cause of hearing loss may be found in the outer ear, middle ear or inner ear. Hearing impairment due to a disorder of the outer or middle ear is known as conductive hearing loss. Impairment of the inner ear, by contrast, is described as sensorineural hearing loss or labyrinthine deafness. If both types present simultaneously, this is described as mixed hearing loss.

Outer ear

Plugs of earwax and infections of the auditory canal can normally be quickly remedied. To avoid any serious damage, these causes need to be treated swiftly.

Middle ear

The most frequent causes of hearing impairment in the middle ear are inflammation, damage to the eardrum and otosclerosis (calcification of the third ossicle bone). Most defects can be remedied by means of medication or an operation

Inner ear

Most reasons for hearing loss concern the inner ear. People's hearing deteriorates with age. Increased life expectancy creates more hard-of-hearing senior citizens. But young people, too, are increasingly affected - only around one third of all people with a hearing impairment are of pensionable age. The causes are noise and loud music, an unhealthy lifestyle with stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or smoking. But also certain drugs, head injuries or illnesses, such as a tumour on the auditory nerve, can also cause this. It is then that the sensory cells in the cochlea are damaged. Usually, there is no curative treatment for this, but it may be compensated for with a hearing aid.