What are the Causes and Early Signs for Hearing Loss? Skip to Main Content

What are the Causes, Early Signs, & Management Techniques for Hearing Loss?

A Michigan man speaks with an audiologist at Hear Michigan Centers about his hearing health.
– 6 minute read

Hearing Loss Signs & Management Tips in Michigan 

Understanding the causes, early signs, and management techniques for hearing loss can positively impact your life. Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented, but age-related hearing loss affects around one in three adults over the age of 65. Below, the hearing care providers at Hear Michigan Centers provide a guide to help you better understand how hearing loss develops, the common signs associated with it, and how to properly manage the condition. 

We offer a wide range of hearing care services for Michigan patients, with virtual and in-person appointments available. We know how important it is to address hearing loss early. Untreated hearing loss can cause social isolation, depression, and other adverse effects. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing evaluation with one of our hearing care providers.  

About Your Auditory System 

Your auditory system is made up of your inner, middle, and outer ear. When a patient has hearing loss, it affects one or more of these parts of their auditory system: 

  • Outer Ear – This external portion of your ear on each side of your head, including your ear canal and eardrum, is called the outer ear. 
  • Middle Ear – This includes your ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear bones. 
  • Inner Ear – The cochlea (used for hearing) and the vestibular system (used for balance) comprise the inner ear’s main parts. 
  • Auditory Cortex – Your auditory cortex is the hearing center of your brain, with intricate nerve pathways connecting your inner ear to your auditory cortex. 

Types of Hearing Loss 

It can help to know what types of hearing loss patients are categorized into. Learn more about each type below:  

  • Conductive Hearing Loss – Caused by conditions or abnormalities affecting the outer or middle ear, this type of hearing loss is often treatable and temporary. Conductive hearing loss can sometimes be reversed with surgical or medical intervention and is most common among children with recurrent ear infections or foreign objects stuck in their ears. 
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss – This type of hearing loss is caused by various disorders of the inner ear or central auditory system resulting from disease, aging, injury, long-term exposure to loud sounds, certain drugs, or other medical conditions. Our hearing care providers treat patients with this type of hearing loss with custom-prescribed hearing aids. 
  • Mixed Hearing Loss – A combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss is called mixed hearing loss. Some patients start with a sensorineural hearing loss diagnosis and then develop a conductive component over time. 

Learn About the Causes of Hearing Loss 

Understanding what causes hearing loss can help patients prevent or keep it from worsening. Some patients experience sudden hearing loss, while others’ conditions worsen over time. Some cases of hearing loss can’t be attributed to a specific cause, but researchers are still studying all the possible prevention methods and treatment options. The most common causes of all types of hearing loss include the following: 

  • Aging – Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually over time, with many people not realizing it until symptoms become noticeable to them or those around them. It’s a normal and treatable part of the natural aging process. Age-related hearing loss is permanent, but many patients benefit from wearing hearing aids. 
  • Inherited Hearing Loss – Many genetic disorders include hearing loss as a symptom, which accounts for many pediatric cases. Hearing loss caused by a genetic disorder can be sensorineural, conductive, or mixed. The severity of hearing loss varies widely among patients. Hearing aids are sufficient for some, while cochlear implants or learning American Sign Language are recommended for others. 
  • Noise Exposure – Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by long-term exposure to loud noises, whether it occurs over time or suddenly. Everyday sounds like construction, live music, traffic, and noisy work environments can permanently damage hearing over time. 
  • Illness-Related Hearing Loss – A wide range of medical conditions can cause or impact a person’s hearing loss. In addition, bacterial and viral infections, otosclerosis, head trauma, and other issues can cause hearing loss. 

Signs of Hearing Loss 

Addressing your symptoms of hearing loss as soon as you notice a change helps you manage them and seek proper treatment. Some of the most common signs of hearing loss include:

  • It sounds like people are mumbling or speaking too quietly. 
  • You ask people to repeat themselves often. 
  • You notice people speak more loudly when talking to you. 
  • You can hear someone talking but can’t comprehend what’s being said. 
  • You keep the volume on your television, phone, or radio higher than others around you. 
  • It’s difficult to follow conversations in social settings. 

The Importance of Addressing Hearing Loss

When hearing loss goes untreated, it can have several adverse effects on a person’s life. If you have any signs of hearing loss, the next step should be contacting the hearing care providers at Hear Michigan Centers to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing evaluation. We’ll determine the type and degree of your hearing loss and whether hearing aids are suitable for your treatment plan. If you’re experiencing pain in either of your ears, discharge, sudden deafness, balance problems, or dizziness, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

Schedule a Risk-Free Hearing Test Today 

Many people don’t worry about hearing loss until they’re already experiencing the symptoms. Scheduling regular hearing evaluations with the team at Hear Michigan Centers ensures you can stay on top of your hearing health. Our hearing care providers have years of experience providing comprehensive hearing care services for patients throughout Michigan. 

You deserve high-quality and reliable care regarding your hearing health. We understand no two patients are the same, so we take a comprehensive approach to finding the best individualized solution for your hearing loss. Contact us today to learn more about hearing loss prevention tips, or schedule an appointment to start your journey towards better hearing.

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