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Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have hearing loss with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

Hearing loss is more common in older adults. This is because it is part of aging. Other things that raise the risk of hearing loss are:

  • Gene problems, such as Usher syndrome
  • Premature babies and low birth weight babies
  • Being around a single loud noise, such as an explosion
  • Being around repeated loud sounds over time, such as:
    • Loud machines at work
    • Loud motorcycles
    • Loud music
  • Some medicines, such as:
    • Antibiotics
    • Chemotherapy
    • High doses of aspirin—raises the risk of ringing in the ear
  • Some health problems, such as


  • Conductive hearing loss. ENT Health—American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/conductive-hearing-loss. Accessed May 10, 2022.
  • 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. Accessed May 10, 2022.
  • 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. Accessed May 10, 2022.
  • Newsted D, Rosen E, et al. Approach to hearing loss. Can Fam Physician. 2020;66(11):803-809.
  • 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. Accessed May 10, 2022.
  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-sensorineural-hearing-loss. Accessed May 10, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

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.