Signs Of Hearing Loss
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re losing your hearing.
Common signs include:
- difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places
- asking people to repeat themselves
- listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need
- difficulty hearing on the phone
- finding it hard to keep up with a conversation
- feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening
Sometimes someone else might notice problems with your hearing before you do.
How To Prevent Temporary Hearing Loss
You can prevent temporary hearing loss by protecting your hearing. This can involve earplugs, regularly getting your ears cleaned, and avoiding ototoxic medications. The most important aspect of preventing hearing loss is avoiding loud noise. While concerts and other events can be fun, they can also do serious damage to your inner ears. Once the damage is done, it cannot be repaired. You only have one set of ears, so its vital that you take care of them. You can protect your ears from noise exposure by:
- Wearing earplugs. You dont have to avoid things like car shows, gun ranges, concerts, and sports games. You just have to wear protection when you go. Make sure to buy a pair of earplugs before you attend these events, and consider investing in a fitted, reusable pair.
- Limit your time at parties and clubs. Loud music is a menace to your ears, and while parties and clubs are very fun, they can deal some serious damage. Depending on the decibel volume, you should limit your time at these places to an hour or two. After that, you should move your fun to a quieter location.
- Take rests. Your ears need breaks, too. If youve had a long day, attended a loud event, or just feel a bit exhausted by noise, dont turn on the television or put on some music. Just enjoy the silence and rest your ears.
Treatments For Temporary Hearing Loss
If the temporary hearing loss is lasting longer than a couple of days, then you should go to visit your doctor and find out what causes it.
Also, unlike other ear problems that get better on their own, a persistent or recurring hearing problem could be an indication of something more serious so don’t delay in getting treatment.
If the hearing loss is due to an infection, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help clear up any ear problems.
If there is a buildup of fluid in the middle ear or ear canal, your dentist can use suction to remove it using a small instrument called an Ear Wash Cup. This may need to be repeated until the fluid is gone, as it will keep returning until the cause of the excess fluid has been removed.
Depending on your doctor’s advice and findings, other treatments may also be required such as:
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Everyone’s hearing naturally declines with age, and people often have one ear that hears better than the other. But if hearing loss appears suddenly in one ear for no apparent reason, you may have experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or SHL, a kind of nerve deafness.
There are about 66,000 new cases of SHL per year in the United States, according to research in the August 2019 issue of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. But these numbers are hard to come by, since the condition may be underdiagnosed.
“The main reason is that people don’t view it as a serious problem and don’t get the medical care they need. This delay increases the risk of permanent hearing loss,” says Dr. Steven Rauch, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
If You Need A Hearing Care Provider
Since so many different issues can lead to temporary hearing loss, its important for you to find out whats causing it and get the underlying condition treated. Not all temporary hearing loss can be corrected however, the only way to know for sure if your loss is reversible is to contact a hearing center, like one of those in our directory, for a thorough evaluation.
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What Is Sudden Temporary Hearing Loss
Hearing loss often happens gradually over time. However, sometimes it can come on suddenly, either instantly or over the course of a few days. Sudden hearing loss can be a very upsetting and confusing issue to experience. The good news is that temporary hearing loss can often be remedied, especially if diagnosed and treated early. Here, we break down the main causes for temporary or sudden hearing loss, as well as treatment options and , what you can do to minimize your risk of experiencing it.
Dr. Victoria Zambrano, Au.D.
Causes Of Temporary Hearing Loss
Temporary hearing loss can occur after a loud concert, or crop up out of nowhere. Depending on the cause of your hearing loss, you might require care immediately to avoid permanent hearing loss. Other cases might clear up on their own, with no intervention from a doctor. However, you should see a doctor or audiologist regardless, just to make sure your ears arent seriously affected.
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- Hearing loss can range from mild to profound and has many different causes, including injury, disease, genetic defects and the ageing process.
- Hearing loss at birth is known as congenital hearing loss, while hearing loss that occurs after birth is called acquired hearing loss.
- The most common cause of acquired hearing loss is noise, which accounts for over one quarter of people affected by hearing loss.
- You can protect your hearing by reducing your exposure to loud noise or wearing suitable protection such as ear muffs or ear plugs.
Treating Long Exposure To Loud Noise
As you might have guessed, the best prevention of temporary hearing loss and tinnitus is to minimize exposure to loud noise. The less auditory stress you experience, the better your hearing. Using ear protection when attending noisy events is important. What to do if you are a professional musician or in construction? Ear protectors have been specially designed for you. They suppress loud noises, protecting hair cells.
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Diagnosing Temporary Hearing Loss
Sometimes the cause of temporary hearing loss is obvious and goes away on its own. In other cases, the hearing loss may be more complicated. If your hearing loss lingers beyond a day or so, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment to see your doctor or hearing healthcare professional. They will give you a thorough hearing evaluation to determine the cause of your hearing loss.
At the evaluation, your provider will ask you several questions concerning your current health status and hearing problems. This will help them determine whether there is anything in your past that suggests an ongoing health issue.
Afterward, he or she will examine your ears for any signs of abnormalities before giving you a hearing test to narrow down the nature of your condition. Some conditions may require advanced testing, so you may need to schedule a follow-up appointment or visit an otolaryngologist .
Temporary Hearing Loss Caused By Clogged Ear Canal:
If there is any blockage in the ear canal, it obviously will interfere with your ability to hear. Some of the causes of clogged ear canal are buildup of earwax, fluid in the middle ear space or swelling due to an ear infection.
Treatment for Temporary Hearing Loss occurring from Clogged Ear Canal. Once the blockage, such as ear wax has been removed, then your hearing will return to normal. Some of the types of ear canal blockages which lead to temporary hearing loss are:
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What Is Hearing Loss
Hearing loss makes it hard to hear or understand sounds. This happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear, the nerves coming from the ears, or the hearing part of the brain.
Some people are born with hearing loss. But hearing loss may come on slowly over time or show up later in life. Hearing loss runs in some families, or may be caused by a birth defects, infections, or medicines that damage the ear. You cant prevent these kinds of hearing loss.
But you can do something about noise-induced hearing loss. A sudden loud noise or being around loud sounds over time can damage the tiny hair cells of the inner ear, making it hard to hear. If the noise around you is so loud that you must shout to be heard or you cant hear the people around you, there is a chance that youll have some trouble hearing.
Do Hearing Protectors Prevent A Person From Communicating With Others
If a person has any of these symptoms that suggest hearing loss, he or she should consult a physician with special training in ear and hearing disorders . This type of doctor can diagnose hearing problems and recommend the best way to manage them.
While there is no cure for noise-induced hearing loss, there is some promising research being done. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders is looking at the use of antioxidants to prevent hearing loss and restore hearing. NIDCD-funded researchers have shown that aspirin and vitamin E can reduce hearing loss if used before exposure to loud noise.
Researchers at the University of Michigan used vitamins A, C, E and magnesium prior to loud noise exposure to prevent hearing loss in animal studies. Studies on people are in progress.
For examples of sounds measured in dBs, The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery provides an Interactive Loudness Scale.
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What Can I Do About It
If you experience sudden hearing loss, the main thing is not to panic there could be several reasons for the loss of sound and chances are it is a temporary occurrence due to a blockage or infection. Of course, this can be worrying and inconvenient, especially if you need your hearing for work or your interest, but the good news is that a professional audiologist can help.
After you contact an audiologist, they will ask some questions to determine the nature of the hearing loss. They will then perform some tests and examinations that may include a pure tone audiometry test or a tympanometry test. Following the results, they will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment.
Treating Of Middle Ear Infections
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for ear infections. After the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe a course of medication for you. Its very important to follow all directions. Even if you feel better, you should not stop taking your medication. Remember that only a doctor can make changes to treatment.
How Do You Know If You Have Noise
There are a few things that could mean you’re losing your hearing. Depending on the cause of your NIHL, symptoms may be immediate or you may develop them over time. Some of the most common noise-inducing hearing loss symptoms include:
- Inability to hear high-pitched sounds, like birds singing.
- Muffled or distorted speech.
- Tinnitus .
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.
Noise-induced hearing loss symptoms may last minutes, hours or days after noise exposure ends. But even if your hearing returns to normal, cells in the inner ear may still be destroyed. If enough healthy cells are left, your hearing will eventually come back. But as more cells are destroyed over time, hearing loss can become permanent.
The Main Reasons For Temporary Hearing Loss
Temporary hearing loss doesnt cause any dangerous complications or difficulties such as sensorineural hearing loss. However, it also cannot be ignored. The best solution is to see a doctor for help if your hearing doesnt return to its previous state within a short time. In most cases, the hearing loss goes away quickly, in a day or two.
Dr. Fulman has a lot of experience with temporary hearing loss. She has prepared a list of the main causes of this problem, as well as effective ways of temporary hearing loss treatment.
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How Is Temporary Hearing Loss In One Hour Treated
One of the most common treatments for sudden deafness, specifically when the cause is unknown, is steroids. These steroids can treat many different disorders and work by reducing any inflammation. The reduced swelling can help the body fight off any illnesses. It used to be the steroids that were given in pill form. However, clinical trials supported that the injection of steroids was as effective as oral steroids. This will be through the eardrum.
If an autoimmune condition has caused your immune system to attack the inner ear, your primary doctor may prescribe drugs that suppress your immune system. If your hearing loss is severe and does not respond to treatment, your doctor may recommend that you use hearing aids.
Learn more about Stanwood Hearing and how we treat temporary hearing loss by calling us today at 360-502-4644.
How To Treat Temporary Hearing Loss
Sometimes, temporary hearing loss will clear up on its own. However, it is best if you go to the doctor to get the problem diagnosed and examined. Depending on the cause of your hearing loss, your doctor might have different ideas for treatment. They might advise you to rest or administer medication to help clear up any infections. Common treatments for temporary hearing loss include:
- Silence. If youve recently been exposed to loud noises, silence is the most important thing. If you keep listening to loud noises and dont sufficiently rest your ears, you could end up with serious permanent damage.
- Antibiotics. If your problem lies with an infection, you need to take some antibiotics and clear up the infection in your ears. Then, the fluid will drain and you should hear normally again.
- Stop ototoxic medications. If youre taking medications that are impairing your hearing, your doctor might ask that you stop taking them and switch to a different treatment. After that your hearing should improve.
- Remove blockages. If you have a foreign object in your ear or impacted earwax, you need to have this blockage removed. Until then, you will likely continue experiencing temporary conductive hearing loss. Never try to remove foreign objects yourself, and only trust medical professionals with your ears.
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Tips For Temporary Hearing Loss
If you just have a temporary hearing loss, then there are some steps that you can take to speed healing and reduce any problems with your hearing:
Put something warm against your ear
Don’t use drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, vitamins or fish oil unless your physician tells you to
Try to avoid loud sounds and noises if your ear is already damaged by something like an explosion.
Avoid stressful situations that could lead to high blood pressure. Your heart needs help pumping blood after the blast of an explosion. The stress will only make things worse.
These actions will help greatly in your recovery.
How Effective Are Hearing Protection Devices
Hearing protection devices decrease the intensity of sound that reaches the eardrum. They come in two forms: earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs: Earplugs are small inserts that fit into the outer ear canal. To be effective they must totally block the ear canal with an air-tight seal. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit individual ear canals and can be custom made. For people who have trouble keeping them in their ears, they can be fitted to a headband. Earmuffs: Earmuffs fit over the entire outer ear to form an air seal. They are held in place by an adjustable band. Earmuffs must be snugly sealed so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked.
Properly fitted earplugs or muffs reduce noise by 15 to 30 dB of sound. The better earplugs and earmuffs are approximately equally effective in sound reduction. However, earplugs are better protection against low frequency noise , and earmuffs are better protection against high frequency noise . For high frequency sounds, think of the high-pitched treble keys of the piano, whereas for low frequency sounds, think of the low- or deep-pitched bass keys of the piano.
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