There are three main types of hearing loss which are related to the specific part of the hearing system where the damage has occurred.
However, there are a couple of risk factors that may cause damage or lead to loss of the hairs and nerve cells in your inner ear which can lead to one of these three types of hearing loss.
Risk factors to watch out for:
Degeneration of delicate inner ear structures occurs over time. Around half of those over the age of 60 experience some form of hearing loss and 3 out of 4 of those over the age of 70 experience hearing loss.
Exposure to loud sounds can damage the cells of your inner ear. Damage can occur with long-term exposure to loud noises, or from a short blast of noise, such as from a gunshot.
Your genetic makeup may make you more susceptible to ear damage from sound or deterioration from aging.
Jobs where loud noise is a regular part of the working environment, such as farming, construction or factory work, can lead to damage inside your ear.
Exposure to explosive noises, such as from firearms and jet engines, can cause immediate, permanent hearing loss. Other recreational activities with dangerously high noise levels include snowmobiling, motorcycling or listening to loud music.
Drugs, such as the antibiotic gentamicin and certain chemotherapy drugs, can damage the inner ear. Temporary effects on your hearing — ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or hearing loss — can occur if you take very high doses of aspirin, other pain relievers, antimalarial drugs or loop diuretics.
Diseases or illnesses that result in high fever, such as meningitis, may damage the cochlea.
If you think you or a loved one may have a hearing loss our advice would be to get a free hearing checked.