Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Hearing Loss

While advanced age is the most common reason for hearing loss, there are many other causes of impaired hearing, including:

  • Excessive noise (long-term exposure or sudden, extremely loud noise)
  • Ruptured ear drum
  • Certain drugs, including gentamicin and some chemotherapy drugs
  • Viral or bacterial infections accompanied by high fever
  • Chronic fluid in the middle ear
  • Head injury
  • Tumors of the head
  • Abnormal bone growth
  • Stroke
  • Heredity
  • Meniere disease

Diagnosing hearing loss

Your physician can use a number of techniques to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss, including:

  • Physical exam: to identify structural problems, infection or earwax that may be interfering with your hearing
  • Conversational observation: your physician can confirm hearing loss by holding a conversation with you
  • Audiometry (hearing test): conducted by an audiologist, this test produces sounds of various pitches and loudness in earphones to test your hearing

Diagnostic Tests