by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Hearing loss is a decrease in the ability to hear. It can vary in degree of loss and happen in one or both ears.
Hearing loss is the most common birth defect. It can happen due to faulty genes. It can also happen due to problems during birth or soon after, such as lack of oxygen, jaundice, or bleeding in the brain.
In older adults, hearing loss can happen due to:
There are 3 main types of hearing loss:
Chandrasekhar SS, Tsai Do BS, et al. American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). Clinical Practice Guideline: Sudden Hearing Loss (Update). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Aug;161(1_suppl):S1-S45.
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 November 26, 2019.
Hearing loss and older adults. NIH Senior Health website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults. Updated July 17, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2019.
Otosclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/otosclerosis. Updated May 7, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2019.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated October 24, 2019. Accessed November 26, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 10/20/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.