Many people assume hearing loss only happens to the elderly or people who work in loud environments, but hearing loss is actually caused by a combination of factors.
For some people, hearing loss is a side effect of another medical condition.
It takes a pretty serious infection to cause sudden hearing loss, but it is possible. Patients with meningitis or tuberculosis report hearing loss. Another cause that’s prevalent — especially in the summer time — is Lyme disease. This tick-borne disease can cause both hearing loss and tinnitus.
Blood and Circulation
Your heart helps your hearing, and when it starts to slow down, so can your ears. Poor blood flow restricts the amount of oxygen to your inner ear, which can cause partial or full hearing loss. Other things like high blood pressure or diabetes can impact your ability to hear.
Tumors and Cancer
It’s understandable that cancers of the head, neck or ear affect your ability to hear, but in reality, any cancer can change your senses. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation will likely have a difficult time hearing during treatment.
No matter what your age, you might have hearing loss because of a genetic condition. Ménière’s disease is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, but it’s not something people commonly think of. This disorder typically causes hearing loss in one ear for people between 20 and 50.
Take Control of Your Health
Smoking, obesity, dementia, diabetes — there’s a long list of health problems that can and do cause hearing loss for some people.
If you or a loved one are worried about hearing health, the best course of action is to get checked out. Your primary care physician can offer guidance for any underlying conditions, but your hearing health is best cared for by a specialist.