The cause of hearing loss may be found at various points in our complicated, sensitive ears: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear or even the auditory nerve. Hearing loss is not always age-related. It can also be triggered by loud noises, infections, medications or injuries, or may be hereditary.
Often it is the higher frequencies that are affected first. Because these are important for hearing the so-called voiceless consonants (f, s, p, t), the understanding of speech especially in high background noise is noticed first. Depending on the type of hearing loss, other symptoms may appear, for example tinnitus, noise sensitivity, or dizziness. In almost all cases, hearing loss is permanent, and it is often difficult to predict how it will progress.