Before you buy tickets for the next rock concert, you should be aware that loud noises are among the leading causes of hearing loss. They can damage the sensitive eardrum or the small bones of the middle ear. Heredity, drugs, disease and age can also contribute to the problem. As a child, your hearing was probably as good as it will ever be. Around puberty, the ability to hear some of the higher frequencies is lost. Later in life, changes in the hair cells in the ears account for still more hearing loss. Occasionally, a child will be born deaf. If the mother suffered German measles, rubella or took certain drugs during pregnancy, deafness in the child can be the result. Heredity could also be a factor. If your hearing isn't what it used to be, or what you think it should be, a visit to a hearing specialist is a good idea.