A risk factor raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can have hearing loss with or without the ones listed here. But the more a person has, the greater the chances are of getting it.
Hearing loss is more common in older adults because it is part of aging. Genetic problems like Usher syndrome can also raise the risk for hearing loss. In infants, it is more common in babies who are premature or those who have a low birth weight.
Being Around Loud Noise
Being around loud noises raises the risk of hearing loss. Loud sounds can cause harm to the hearing nerve and hair cells in the inner ear. It can be caused by one loud noise, such as an explosion, or by repeated loud sounds over time, such as loud machinery at work or loud music.
Some medicines can harm hearing, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs. High doses of aspirin can also raise the risk of short-term hearing loss or ringing in the ear.
Some health problems can raise the risk of hearing loss, such as meningitis, Meniere disease, and tumors.
Conductive hearing loss. ENT Health—American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/conductive-hearing-loss. Updated July 2019. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Hearing loss. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Hearing-Loss.aspx. Updated August 1, 2009. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Hearing loss and older adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults. Updated July 17, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Noise-induced hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss. Updated May 31, 2019. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Stachler RJ, Chandrasekhar SS, et al; American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;146(3 Suppl):S1-35.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-sensorineural-hearing-loss . Updated November 26, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 05/08/2020