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Ongoing Exposure to Noise on the JobLong-term exposure to continuous loud noise can cause lasting hearing loss. Michael Rothschild, MD, director, pediatric otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. Hearing problems in children are a critical part of social, emotional, and cognitive development in the early stages of their lives. Because they study the complex anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the entire head and neck, ENT specialists are uniquely qualified to perform the procedures that affect the ear and hearing. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site.
Injury or Pressure ChangesSevere head trauma can dislocate middle-ear bones or cause nerve damage, causing permanent hearing loss.
Sudden changes in pressure -- from flying or scuba diving -- can lead to damage to the eardrum, middle ear, or inner ear and hearing loss.


Chronic DiseaseCertain chronic diseases that are not directly related to the ear can cause hearing loss.
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also can be linked to some forms of hearing loss. How You Hear -- Anatomy of the EarSound waves enter the outer ear and travel through the ear canal. This causes the eardrum and tiny bones, called the hammer and anvil, in the middle ear to vibrate.
Then vibrations travel to the fluid in the cochlea where microscopic hairs send nerve signals to the brain so sound is understood. Tumors and GrowthsNoncancerous growths, including osteomas, exostoses, and benign polyps, can block the ear canal, causing hearing loss.
Acoustic neuroma (an inner ear tumor shown here), grows on the hearing and balance nerve in the inner ear. The average decibel level at a rock show is 110, loud enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes. Hearing damage can occur with extended exposure of any noise over 85 decibels. Headphones and EarbudsCan others hear the music and lyrics you’re listening to through earphones?
Think you have an earwax blockage? Don't try removing the wax with a cotton-tipped swab or by inserting anything else into your ear canal.


For more hearing loss information from WebMD, click "Next." Childhood IllnessMany childhood illnesses can cause hearing loss.
Ear infections can cause the middle ear to fill with fluid and cause hearing loss that usually clears when the infection and fluid are gone. Diseases known to affect hearing in children include chickenpox, encephalitis, influenza, measles, meningitis, and mumps. Though congenital hearing loss often runs in families, it can occur with maternal diabetes or an infection when pregnant.
Hearing loss can also develop if a newborn is premature or from other causes such as trauma during birth resulting in the infant not getting enough oxygen. Usually, age-related hearing loss is caused by the progressive loss of inner-ear hair cells.



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