cause permanent damage to (something)

When something is "damaged", it means that it's brokenmessed up, or isn't working as it is supposed to. "Damage" is the noun form:

Obviously, heavy drinking can lead to liver damage and so on.

To "cause permanent damage" to something means to break it in a way that it can't be fixed. In the example above, the mother is worried that her son will permanently hurt his hearing.

This phrase appears in these lessons: