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Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults

Common Causes Described by a Salinas Audiologist

It is not unusual for hearing to get weaker as you age. It is important to have a medical professional examine your ears and inform you on what steps can be taken to fix it or prevent further degrading. We have compiled a brief rundown of the common causes of hearing problems in adults. Please note that any irregularities in your hearing should be examined by a hearing specialist in our Salinas or Monterey offices.

Our Monterey & Salinas audiologist is happy to answer any of your questions. You can reach us by calling (831) 216-1281.

Presbycusis Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is a result of the aging process. It results in a degeneration of the inner ear and tends to be progressive in nature. It is usually not noticed until later in life when high-frequency hearing loss results in a decreased ability to understand speech.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Prolonged exposure to harmful levels of noise can cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear resulting in irreversible hearing loss. It usually develops gradually over time and is not noticed until the high frequency hearing loss results in a decreased ability to understand speech. Sometimes, a single exposure to very high levels of sounds or impulse noises can cause acoustic trauma to the cochlea and result in hearing loss due to the damage sustained in the inner ear.

Trauma Causing Hearing Loss

Examples of trauma that can result in permanent or temporary hearing loss include temporal bone fractures and perforations of the ear drum from foreign objects, infection or sudden changes in air pressure (barotraumas).

Drugs That Cause Hearing Loss

Some medicines are ototoxic and can cause damage to the auditory system resulting in permanent hearing loss. Aminoglycoside antibiotics (streptomycin, neomycin, gentamycin), salicylates (aspirin) in large quantities, loop diuretics (lasix, ethacrynic acid) and drugs used in chemotherapy regimens (cisplatin, carboplatin) are all drugs which are known to be ototoxic and can cause hearing loss.


This is a disease process that reduces the ability of the stapes (one of the three tiny bones in the middle ear) to move efficiently. Over time, this process results in a progressive conductive hearing loss that can often be treated with surgery.

Meniere's Disease

This disease affects the inner ear and can be associated with hearing loss, dizziness (vertigo) and ringing in the ear (tinnitus).

Acoustic Neuroma

This is a benign growth on the acoustic nerve that can cause progressive sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. It can be accompanied by a feeling of aural fullness and is often detected at an early stage.

Get Medical Treatment Quickly

Hearing problems only get worse the longer you take to treat them. Many people do not take reduced hearing seriously and end up having severe hearing loss when they enter old age. An audiologist can prevent damage to your ear from getting out of hand, and keep your ears functioning well into your twilight years.

We provide checkups and sell hearing aids in Monterey and Salinas. You can call (831) 216-1281 to set up an appointment at either location.

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