Most people who experience hearing loss put it down to listening to music too loudly, going to too many concerts, or working with heavy machinery. All of these noisy environments can be detrimental to hearing, but they are not the only reasons for needing a hearing aid test.
To find out what the other causes of hearing loss are, read on.
It is common knowledge that sounds over 85 dBA can lead to deafness, as it damages the hair cells. This means signals are not being sent to the brain as effectively as they should be.
However, did you know that having a head injury could also lead to hearing loss?
Having a blow to the head can cause the eardrum to rupture, which means the signals from the ear to the brain cannot get through.
An eardrum can rupture due to sudden changes in pressure, receiving a knock, an ear infection, being poked, or even extremely loud noises.
Age plays a big factor when it comes to hearing loss. Of the 11 million people in the UK who struggle with their hearing, eight million are 60 or older.
This is typically due to changes in the inner ear over the years. At the same time, some medical conditions and medications can affect hearing, as well as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Abnormalities of the middle ear can get worse as people age, while long-term exposure to loud sounds can have a cumulative effect on the ear.
Therefore, many of the 6.7 million people in Britain who could benefit from wearing a hearing aid are in their older years.
Sleep apnoea is constant interruption to sleep due to the walls of the throat relaxing and narrowing. This means normal breathing is disturbed and it can lead to gasping or loud snoring.
Research has shown it is also linked with hearing loss, with sleep apnoea increasing the risk by 21 per cent, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Otolaryngology.
This could be to do with a drop in the blood flow to the inner ears, which causes the blood vessels and cells to die, reducing hearing in the long-term.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association revealed there are around 200 medications that can cause damage to hearing. These include some anticancer drugs and antibiotics, while antimalarial mefloquine and beta blockers timolol and metoprolol can lead to tinnitus.
It is recommended to have your hearing tested before starting on a course of certain medications to get an idea of what your baseline hearing is and whether it deteriorates with the drug.
Inflammation in the mouth
If there is any inflammation in the mouth, this can be linked with poor hearing, as it narrows the blood vessels and affects the blood flow going to the ear hair cells.
Therefore, tooth infections, impacted wisdom teeth and other bacterial infections can cause hearing loss.
Should the cells die due to a lack of blood flow, this could lead to permanent damage to the hearing.