There are many other factors that can contribute — we're going to discuss some of the most unexpected. 

1. Stress

Arguably, this is the least surprising entry on the list. After all, the connection between stress and conditions like tinnitus is already quite well-established. Severe stress can take things to an entirely different level, causing a condition known as hypertension (basically, a fancy way of saying high blood pressure).

Hypertension, in turn, can cause ear hemorrhages, which can cause either temporary or permanent damage. Stress reduction techniques are key to preventing this. Exercise, eat healthy foods, reduce your caffeine intake, find activities that relax you and, if necessary, speak to a professional therapist.

2. Side Effects From Medication

Prescription medication very rarely comes without side effects. And in some cases, those side effects can include hearing loss. This is especially common in heart disease and chemotherapy medicine, both of which can damage your inner ear. 

This is precisely why it's critical to speak with your doctor about all potential side effects before starting on a new treatment plan. And if a medication's side effects are something you'd prefer not to deal with, you can seek an alternative.
Woman concerned about hearing loss

3. Over-Exercising

Most of us have overdone it at the gym once or twice. Maybe we got a bit too pumped up or overestimated our abilities. Maybe we tried to push ourselves too hard and ended up out of commission for a week or more.
Either way, excessive exercise always carries a risk of injury. Apparently, it can also cause temporary hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus. Just like most gym-related injuries, these conditions are almost always temporary and will heal in time. 

Just remember to take it easier once they do.

4. Allergies

Swelling from an especially severe allergic reaction can cause a blockage in the ear canal. This, in turn, leads to fluid buildup, which can then either cause an ear infection or rupture the eardrum. With treatment, this can usually be mitigated, but it can easily develop into something much more severe if left unchecked. 

5. An Unhealthy Diet

Lack of proper nutrition, excessive fat and sugar consumption, and lack of proper hydration can cause a huge list of health problems. Excessive weight gain is really only the tip of the iceberg here. If you fail to take care of yourself properly, you're at a much higher risk of hearing loss (among myriad other things).

6. Sleep Deprivation

Sorry, insomniacs, but we have some bad news for you. Lack of sleep has a devastating effect on the body, both in the short term and in the long term. When you're sleep-deprived, nothing really works as it should, and you can end up suffering from issues with your mental health, cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health, and even your hearing.

And if you have pre-existing conditions like tinnitus, sleep deprivation can and will worsen those. 

7. Diabetes

Hearing loss tends, according to the American Diabetes Association, to be nearly twice as common amongst those suffering from Diabetes, particularly if it's untreated.
We'd strongly advise a healthy diet to avoid Type 2 Diabetes. For Type 1, stay on top of your glucose levels and regularly consult with your physician.

8. Viruses

Conditions such as influenza can cause temporary hearing impairment, similar to how allergies can block up the ear canal. There are other illnesses, as well, that can cause much more severe hearing loss, such as meningitis and measles.

Children tend to be especially vulnerable to this form of hearing loss, which can cause severe and permanent damage to the ears.

9. Smoker's Ear

Smoking destroys your health. This is something we've known for a very long time. But it's harmful to more than just your cardiovascular well-being.
Smoking means, according to the United States National Library of Medicine, that your ears are significantly more vulnerable to excessive noise. Even if you're a former smoker, this is still something you need to be wary of. Secondhand smoke, too, can increase your level of risk.


Healthy hearing is the key to living your best life. Make sure your baseline hearing stays strong by taking a proactive approach to your hearing health. Take our FREE Online Hearing Test and get your results instantly.