Certain conditionsExposure to loud noise.,Head trauma,Virus or disease,Autoimmune inner ear disease,Hearing loss that runs in the family,Aging (presbycusis),Malformation of the inner ear and Meniere's Disease. may contribute to hearing loss. Over several generations, modern life has added a host of ear-damaging elements to the list, including some medications and plenty of sources of loud, continuous noise.
Advanced age is the most common cause of hearing loss. One out of three people aged 65-74 has some level of hearing loss. After age 75, that ratio goes up to one out of every two people.
Researchers don't fully understand why hearing decreases with age. It could be that lifetime exposure to noise and other damaging factors slowly wear down the ears' delicate mechanics. Genes also play a role.