People experience hearing loss for a wide variety of reasons. For some, it may be difficult to hear or understand speech. Others may complain of a ringing or buzzing in the ears which is known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is usually a manifestation of hearing loss, although it may have other causes as well. The causes of hearing loss vary. Some hearing loss can be attributed to: earwax blockage that prevents sound wave conduction; ear infections and abnormal bone growths; tumors of the outer or middle ear; ruptured eardrum.
In most cases, however, hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear. Aging and prolonged exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on inner ear hairs or nerve cells that send sound signals to the brain. When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss results. Higher pitched tones may become muffled. It may become difficult for you to pick out words against background noise. Heredity or cardiovascular issues may make you more prone to these changes.