Causes and Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Adults

Some hearing loss is natural as you get older but there can be other causes for hearing loss. If you are noticing that you need to turn up the TV or radio when you’re listening to it, you catch yourself saying “huh?” or “what?” when talking to others, or sounds are muffled, you should contact your GP regarding a hearing test. Here are some of the symptoms and causes of hearing loss.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Advanced age is probably the most common cause of hearing loss as one in three people aged 65 to 74 have some type of hearing problems. That number goes up to one in two for people who are 75 and older. It is recommended that people 50 and over have hearing screenings to find out if they have hearing loss and to find ways to correct it if possible.

Exposure to Noise

Another common cause of bad hearing is exposure to steady or high noise levels on the job. Many carpenters, plumbers, and other industrial workers report hearing loss due to their work environments. People who are exposed to high noise levels or continuous noises at work should wear ear protection. In-the-canal ear plugs can reduce noise levels or ear muffs can lower noise levels while still allowing you to hear people talking to you or other external noises such as approaching vehicles so you can get out of the way.


Some medicines can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss in those who take them. NSAIDs, acetaminophen, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, erectile dysfunction drugs, tea tree oil, and some topical preparations with neomycin/polymyxin B can cause hearing loss in some people. Some illicit drugs such as ecstasy as well as heavy alcohol use can also lead to some hearing issues.

Medical Conditions

Certain ailments and conditions can also affect your hearing. If you’re a diabetic, have kidney failure, have had a head injury, or have been diagnosed with atherosclerosis, then you may have issues with hearing loss. It is important to have your hearing screened if you notice any symptoms or have problems hearing.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss that gradually changes with age or at your job may not be noticeable right away. However, if you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor about a hearing test:

  • Some letter sounds such as “s” and “f” are hard to distinguish.
  • Conversations are difficult to hold if there is background noise.
  • You misunderstand what people say and respond incorrectly.
  • You get complaints about the TV being too loud.
  • You have ringing, hissing, or roaring sounds in your ears.

With some hearing loss, you may be able to get hearing aids to help correct it. You can get a test and find hearing aids or other devices to help you, such as the Trulink hearing aid control in London.

If you begin to notice hearing problems or someone tells you about the possibility of hearing problems, have your ears checked and discuss possible treatments or hearing aids with your doctor.


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