Unilateral Sudden Hearing Loss
Both sudden and single-sided hearing loss can occur simultaneously in the form of hearing loss known as acute unilateral hearing loss. This form of hearing loss is not particularly common. Yet, it is critical to be aware of it and seek care if you experience a sudden loss of hearing in one ear.
Read on for a closer look at this unique form of hearing loss and the things that can cause it.
How Does Noise Damage Ears
In any case, the damage occurs when loud sounds reach the inner ear and destroy the tiny hair cells lining this fluid-filled chamber. Once these hair cells are damaged, there is no treatment to repair them. This process can occur from exposure to a single loud noise, or after years of overexposure to loud noises.
Get Treatment For Ear Infections
Speak of the devil. Ear infections are not a good time, and they dont just happen to children. Theyre certainly more common in younger demographics, but anyone can suffer from an ear infection.
If you find yourself struggling with pain in your ear, then do not delay. If youre afflicted with an ear infection, it wont go away by itself. The longer you let it sit, the more you put yourself at risk of permanent hearing loss.
So if you notice any kind of pain or problem with your ear, get it looked at. The sooner youre put on a course of antibiotics, or at least some natural remedies to help congestion, the better chance you have of recovering without damaging your hearing.
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Tune In To Hearing Loss Prevention Tips For Your Child
Hearing plays an important role in communication, speech, language development and learning. Hearing loss is more common than you think. Earlier this year, ABC 7 did a story on ear buds and hearing loss, stating that one in five people in their twenties cannot hear the sound of a raindrop hitting the pavement due to the increased use of music ear buds. While not being able to hear a raindrop may not worry some, even a small amount of hearing loss can have negative effects on speech, language comprehension, communication, classroom learning and social development. To learn more, I partnered with Sandra Romero, Au.D, pediatric audiologist in the Division of Rehabilitative Medicine at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Excessive Noise And Reducing The Risk
Loud music, guns, lawnmowers, snowmobiles, and leaf blowers are possible sources of potentially harmful noises.
If you leave a situation with ringing in your ears, its a sure sign you were subjected to loud noise for a lot longer than you should have been.
Excessive noise can be a concern for people in some occupations. Still, its also essential to look after your ears away from work.
Take Breaks from Loud Events to Protect Your Ears
Although this may be necessary, covering your ears and minimising loud noises may aid in noise reduction.
Its easy to overexpose your ears to noise, from gardening equipment and heavy machinery to turning your earphones up past halfway.
However, repeated exposure to loud noises, or even a single occurrence, can permanently harm your ears and cause tinnitus.
If your child is exposed to noisy sounds for an extended period, his or her inner ears will be harmed.
Many people have heard ringing or buzzing in their ears after being exposed to noisy sounds for a short time. Still, constant tinnitus may have a much more significant impact on your life.
Its almost impossible to know what noise levels youre exposed to unless youve got noise measurement equipment.
Ringing in the Ears, What Is It?
When people think about the buzzing and ringing in the ears that come with tinnitus, they often only think about the auditory issues that come with tinnitus. What they ignore is what the ringing in the ears can do to their livesread more
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Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss
Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss is largely an exercise in self-discipline. There are tools you can use to mitigate the risks, but you must also help yourself.
Be aware of the sound around you. If you have to raise your voice to speak to someone 6ft away from you then you are in ambient noise above 85dB. Spending much time in this level of ambient noise will cause hearing damage.
If you work in a noisy environment, your employer is obliged to conduct a noise survey and, if necessary, is required to provide you with the correct protective equipment and training in how to avoid risk.
If you are in a noisy club or gig, wear earplugs, dont stick your head in the speaker bins, and give your ears a rest from time to time.
The earplugs dont have to be of the foam or wax types you can buy on the high street. These will work, but they will make the music sound like you have your head under a pillow muffled and indistinct. This is because they filter out most of the high frequencies, which is where the detail is in the sound spectrum. Theyll also make speech hard to understand in fact, they will sound quite like the NIHL we are trying to avoid!
Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing
Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.
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Know Your Sound Environment
Although audiologists recommend that you avoid sounds above 85db for extended periods of time, most people cant tell how loud sound is just by listening to it. For example, moderate city traffic is usually in the 85db range, but an everyday sound like traffic may not be a sound you consider dangerous. To know more about the sounds around you everyday, you can use a sound meter to determine safe and dangerous sound levels.
Today, because of smartphones, you can carry a sound meter in your pocket for free. The for iPhone and the Sound Meter app for Android are both free apps you can download to measure the volume level of the sounds around you every day. For a few more dollars there are other apps that may add a bit more functionality .
If you are aware of the volume of your sound environment, youll know when you need to avoid certain places or use hearing protection.
What Causes Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by
- years of exposure to noise, which is especially true for people who work in loud environments, such as live music venues, mining, building or farming
- ear infections
- exposure to certain chemicals or medications including aspirin, some antibiotics and some cancer drugs
- listening to very loud music with headphones
Nearly everybody finds their hearing gets worse as they get older. In some cases, genetics plays a part and some families develop hearing problems earlier in life than other families.
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How Loud Is Too Loud
Youre probably exposing yourself to dangerous noise levels if:
- if you need to shout to be heard by a person 1 metre away from you
- youre listening to music through headphones and cant hear traffic sounds or people talking near you
If you hear ringing in your ears after an event or a day at work, it was too loud. If you have a lot of days like that, you will almost certainly damage your hearing.
Preventing Hearing Loss In Adults
NYU Langone doctors can advise you on how to prevent hearing loss. Loud noise is one of the most common causes, and there are many ways you can protect your ears from noise damage.
However, some types of hearing loss cant be prevented. Age-related hearing lossa gradual reduction in hearing that happens to many people as they get olderis often hereditary and may be unavoidable.
Structural changes to the delicate systems inside the ear may also cause hearing loss. These often develop over time for reasons that are unclear to doctors and are also not preventable.
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Avoid Damage From Noise Pollution
If you work in, near, or around disturbingly loud noises such as in an airport, it is imperative to wear protective ear gear. Without this type of gear, you risk permanent damage to the ears and to your hearing.
If your employer does not provide adequate hearing equipment, take responsibility to purchase what you need on your own. This advice goes for anyone in construction or any field where loud noise could cause potential future hearing damage.
Top 10 Tips To Prevent Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health issues in the United States. It decreases your ability to understand speech and hear sounds around you. People who work in noisy environments such as construction sites, road crews, and factories may lose hearing over time from being exposed to constant noise without proper protection.
However, individuals who listen to loud music with headphones frequently attend open-air music festivals or go to nightclubs can also be affected. The key to preventing hearing loss is to know what is considered loud and limiting your exposure. The louder the volume, the less time you can listen safely before harming your hearing.
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Will I Get My Hearing Back After An Ear Infection
by | Dec 24, 2021 | Hearing Loss Articles
Otitis media is the medical name for what you probably call an ear infection. Ear infections like this are often seen in babies and young children but they can affect adults, as well, especially during or after a cold or sinus infection. Even a bad tooth can lead to an ear infection.
Hearing loss is one of the primary symptoms of an infection in the middle ear, but is it permanent? The answer to this question might be more complicated than you think. There are a lot of things going on with ear infections. To understand the risks, you need to know more about the damage these infections can cause and how they affect hearing.
Ways To Reduce Hearing Damage
Although preventable, noise induced hearing loss is on the rise. Michigan Medicine audiologists look to reverse these trends with new interventions.
Editors note: Information on the COVID-19 crisis is constantly changing. For the latest numbers and updates, keep checking the CDCs website. For the most up-to-date information from Michigan Medicine, visit the hospital’s Coronavirus webpage.
Interested in a COVID-19 clinical trial? Health research is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Our researchers are hard at work to find vaccines and other ways to potentially prevent and treat the disease and need your help.
While sheltering in place is helping protect people from COVID-19, it may be raising their risk of noise-induced hearing loss as families turn the volume up on their devices to escape the news or conduct their business via loud conference calls.
That makes Michigan Medicine audiologist Allie Heckman, AuD, long for the days when she only had to prepare her 3-year-old for noise overload at sporting events or loud restaurants, using traditional, over the ears, headphones to protect her.
Its never too early for a child to wear it because we live in a noisier world than we realize, Heckman says.
Many of them are teenagers, but yet, noise induced hearing loss is 100% completely preventable, Heckman says.
Although troubling, U-M audiologists recommend the following five prevention strategies:
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Loud Noise And Hearing Loss
It is a mistake to believe that only noises loud enough to cause earache are capable of causing damage. The inner ear can still be harmed by noise, even when it doesnt send you a pain signal. A rule of thumb is that if you need to shout to be heard over the noise, its potentially damaging. Suggestions on how to protect your ears from noise include:
- Avoid exposure to noise when you can.
- Consult with your occupational health and safety officer at work if you are concerned about noise levels in the workplace.
- When unavoidably exposed to loud noise, wear personal hearing protection such as earplugs, ear muffs or both.
- Wear earplugs in noisy environments, such as night clubs, rock concerts or motor racing events.
- Remember that everyday equipment, such as lawnmowers, power tools and personal stereos, may be loud enough to be damaging your ears.
Protect Your Hearing During Loud Events And Activities
To protect your hearing during loud activities and events :
- move away from sources of loud noises
- try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes
- give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise
- consider wearing earplugs you can buy re-usable musicians’ earplugs that reduce the volume of music but do not muffle it
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Ask About Any Medication
And speaking of antibiotics, its worth mentioning medication in general: there are some drugs, known as ototoxic drugs, that can wreak havoc on your inner ear.
Ototoxicity can come from all sorts of places, like antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, and even aspirin, so when youre being prescribed a medication, you should always ask if its ototoxic. If it is, its worth asking for a reduced dosage or an alternate medication.
However, if there are no other options, we recommend following your doctors orders. The conditions calling for these medications are typically serious, and should take precedence over your hearing.
How Is It Treated
Your health care provider can help you decide on the best treatment. Noise-induced or age-related hearing loss can be treated with hearing devices, such as hearing aids. Other devices can help alert you to sounds around the house like the phone or doorbell. If hearing aids don’t work for you, cochlear implants may be an option.
You also can learn ways to live with reduced hearing, such as paying attention to people’s gestures, facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice.
In other types of hearing loss, you can treat the problem that caused the hearing loss. For example, you may remove earwax or take medicine for an infection to help your hearing come back.
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If The Noise Is Too High Using Earplugs Is A Good Idea
Cover your ears or use earplugs or other forms of ear protectors. Particularly if youre exposed to loud sounds at a concert or an outdoor venue such as a sporting event.
As a general guide, if you cant speak to someone a couple of yards away without shouting, the music volume might be too loud.
When amplification is used, excessive noise exposure can happen at live rock events and in smaller music venues.
Who Can Benefit From Musician Earplugs
Musician earplugs and protection arent simply designed for individuals in a band, they can actually be beneficial to a number of different people, including:
- Students in the school band or orchestra
- Music teachers or conductors
You received a score of
You are not experiencing common signs of hearing loss. However, if you suspect you may have hearing loss or are experiencing other symptoms not listed here, please contact our office for a consultation.
It appears you may be experiencing signs of a hearing loss. A hearing test can help detect early signs. We recommend contacting our office to schedule a hearing test.
Your responses indicate that you are experiencing common signs of a hearing loss. We recommend that you contact us to set up an appointment for a hearing test.
You are experiencing many signs of a hearing loss. It is highly recommended that you contact our office today for an appointment to meet with a hearing professional.
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Four Tips To Prevent Hearing Loss In Your Child
- Set your TV or video game volume to the lowest volume but can still be heard clearly.
- Buy quiet toys or toys that have a volume control and set it to the lowest volume.
- If you live in a noisy location, keep windows and doors closed to minimize potentially harmful outside sounds.
- Use soft inside furnishings, more curtains, cushions and carpets that will absorb more sound.
- Encourage children to use earplugs or earmuffs if exposure to potentially harmful sounds is likely .
- When counseling my patients about volume and personal stereos I teach parents that if they can hear the music coming from their childs headphones they should encourage their child to turn the music down, shares Dr. Romero.
How An Audiologist Can Help You Prevent Hearing Loss
Most of us think of audiologists as health professionals who diagnose and treat hearing loss. But audiologists also can help patients prevent hearing loss by providing education and information about the damage exposure to loud noises can cause, and advising patients regarding the best hearing protection devices for their individual needs.
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How To Prevent Hearing Loss For Musicians
Because of the nature of their work, musicians of all genres are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Additionally, being able to hear properly is vital to the musicians livelihood, from being able to hear the right notes and words to playing in the correct pitch and key. Without proper hearing protection, the loud sounds most musicians experience on stage and while playing their instrument can cause permanent damage to their hearing. Additionally, musicians are also at risk for developing tinnitus, or a ringing-in-the-ears sensation. Tinnitus can be present with or without hearing loss, and while not life-threatening, can seriously deteriorate the quality of life for an individual.