The Complete Guide to the Most Common Causes of Hearing Loss

There are more than 37.5 million adult Americans dealing with debilitating hearing loss. Many developed hearing issues later in life and were not born with any auditory problems.

So what are the most common causes of hearing loss? How can you be proactive in caring for your hearing?

Keep reading to learn more about the types and causes of hearing loss and how to protect yours.


There are three main types or classification of hearing loss. Conductive, sensorineural hearing loss or you could be suffering from one or a combination of both.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is an issue with sound waves being conducted on their pathway.

This occurs because of fluid, infection, scar tissue or something else obstructing the route from the ear on the outside of the head through the eardrum’s tympanic membrane to the ossicles of the middle ear.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss has more to do with the nerves and inner ear not working properly because of disease or injury than from disrupted or blocked sound waves.

Mixed Hearing Loss

It is possible to have more than one process affecting hearing and it could be due to conductive hearing loss issues leading to more serious damages causing sensorineural problems.


Some of the common causes of hearing loss can be rectified and hearing may be partly or fully restored after treatment. Other causes can lead to permanent damage that may be progressive.

It is always good to seek the advice of medical professionals to properly diagnose and treat any health concerns.

Wax Buildup

One of the simplest and most manageable causes of hearing loss is wax buildup. Ear wax is a positive thing that helps keep the ears clean from debris and keeps your ear canal from getting too dry, itchy and uncomfortable.

Too much of it can cause issues though. If you are unable to safely remove the wax buildup you may need a medical professional to flush your ear for you.

Infection or Fluid Buildup

An ear infection or fluid buildup can make it difficult to hear. A prescription may be needed to clear up the infection and assess the damage.

Many times a fluid buildup after a shower or swimming will clear up on its own.


As much as we hate to admit it, our bodies don’t work as well as they used to once we get older. Hearing is one of the senses affected by age. Hearing loss due to aging is referred to as presbycusis.

Hearing aids may be necessary to help compensate for aging ears.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Listening to your headphones too loud or standing near the speaker at a concert can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. This is often temporary though if the noise is loud enough, such as an explosion, it may cause permanent damage.

Trauma or Injury

There’s a reason we’re told not to stick cotton swabs or anything else in our ears. It can puncture the eardrum or damage your ear and lead to partial or complete hearing loss.


If you’re proactive and want to protect yourself from many of the most common causes of hearing loss you’ll want to keep your ears clean, dry and protected from loud sounds.

For more valuable information about how to care for your ears and protect your hearing connect with us today.