What Causes Ear Problems in Adults?
Hearing loss and other ear problems are symptoms that continuously affect our daily living activities and can stem from a multitude of different causes. Normally, ear problems and/or ear pain can be symptoms of an infection, inflammation, or buildup of fluid behind the eardrum.
Although pain in the ear can be treated, hearing loss unfortunately may be permanent. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20% of Americans, which is estimated to be around 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss1, making this a major public health issue affecting the United States.
Hearing loss is a symptom that worsens over time and does not improve, but with proper precautions, it can be avoided.
Below is a sample list of common causes of hearing loss:
- Exposure to loud noises or explosions, which can cause permanent damage to the eardrum and/or inner ear.
- Age (a prominent cause of gradual hearing loss).
- Additionally, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 24.7% of the U.S. Population aged 60-69 suffer from hearing loss, while 11.2% of the U.S. Population ages 50-59 also suffer from the same symptom2.
- Lacerations, cuts or scrapes that can cause injuries on the outside of the ear or ear canal.
- Excessive and forceful cleaning of the ear with a cotton swab, sharp fingernail that essentially causes an injury or irritation.
- Burns, frostbites or other skin damage to the ear.
- A traumatic or impactful injury as a result of a contact sport or fall that can burst the eardrum or damage the tiny bones in the inner ear.
- Atmospheric pressure changes can cause problems due to the air being trapped (SCUBA diving or flying).
- The buildup of ear wax can contribute to hearing issues.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any hearing loss, it is best to seek medical attention. If the hearing loss is accompanied by trauma or pain, then seek medical care urgently. By addressing this issue early on and by receiving appropriate treatment, you may be able to prevent further deterioration of your symptoms.
Fortunately, Healthpointe offers state-of-the-art audiology services at our clinic locations and staffed with an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist that can assist with any hearing issues. Our audiology services include hearing tests and evaluations, diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, balance or speech problems, and other hearing disorders.
Contact Healthpointe today to learn more about our audiology services and treatment options.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Roman Shulze.