Hearing impairment occurs when there is an obstruction, disease or injury to one or more parts of the external ear, the middle ear or the inner ear. You can protect your hearing if you are aware of what can do damage to these parts.


        Exposure to loud noises for extended periods of time may eventually cause a permanent hearing loss. To prevent this problem, wear ear plugs or other hearing protectors in loud environments.

Colds and Sinus Problems

         Allergies, sinus problems, colds and throat infections can lead to middle ear problems. The eustachian tube, found in the middle ear, drains any excess fluid. However, if the eustachian tube becomes blocked with fluid, the result can yeild extreme pain and drainage from the ear. If untreated, the small bones in the middle ear can become damaged and a hearing impairment may result. Many individuals have lost their hearing due to excessive buildup of fluid.


         Injuries to the ear drum will cause hearing loss. Because the ear drum is a delicate membrane, it can easily rupture if objects are placed in the ear. Ask your doctor about safe ways to remove excess wax from ears. Head injuries from accidents may also result in hearing impairments.

Diseases and Viruses

         Diseases such as measles, mumps, scarlet fever, whooping cough or any high fever can leave permanent hearing impairment. Reactions to medicines used to treat diseases and viruses can also cause hearing impairments.


         It is natural to experience some hearing loss as you age. About 10% of people over the age of 65 have hearing problems significant enough to interfere with conversation.