Treatment Of Sudden Hearing Loss
To treat sudden hearing loss, time is of the essence: the earlier treatment is started, the better the prognosis. In a best-case scenario, the sudden hearing loss is treated by an ENT specialist or at an ENT clinic within the first 24 hours. The treatment includes the stimulation of the inner ears circulation and the elimination of possible triggers. Here are the most common forms of treatment, in the event of sudden hearing loss:
The administration of circulation-enhancing medicationIn the event of sudden hearing loss, the inner ears blood circulation is reduced or impaired. Blood supplies the inner ear with the required nutrients. If circulation is inhibited, the sensory hair cells of the ear are permanently damaged. Circulation can be improved with the administration of circulation-enhancing medication, which can also include cortisone to prevent any swelling .
Treatment with local anesthesia to block inhibited nervesThe local anesthetics procaine and lidocaine are frequently used to treat sudden hearing loss . Their administration blocks nerves that potentially lead to vascular constriction. This treatment should always occur under a doctors clinical observation.
Treatment in an oxygen pressure chamberAnother treatment option is hyperbaric oxygen therapy . This is a good method of treatment, but according to the criteria of evidence-based medicine, it may not be the most effective.
Treating Conductive Hearing Loss With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are battery-powered electronic devices designed to improve hearing. Hearing aids typically are not prescribed for people with conductive hearing loss because the underlying cause is known. Once doctors treat that known cause, hearing returns to normal.
However, in some cases, treatment may not fully reverse conductive hearing loss. In such cases, the conductive hearing loss patient may benefit from a hearing aid. Also, if the cochleas Corti organ functions properly, a hearing aid may help transmit sound through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear.
Most hearing aids are small enough to be worn in or behind the ear, and their basic function makes sounds louder.
Hearing aids have three major components: the microphone that picks up sounds from the environment, an amplifier that makes the sound louder, and a receiver that sends the amplified sounds into the ear.
Hearing aids are medical devices and should only be fitted by an audiologist. After proper examination, the audiologist will determine what type of hearing aid you need and fit it to meet your specific hearing needs. There are no one-size-fits-all hearing aids. All hearing aids are customized.
Hearing aids come in different styles and can ft\it in different places. Below are some common hearing aid styles.
Symptoms Of Sudden Hearing Loss
Some people notice sudden hearing loss when they wake up first thing in the morning and realize their hearing is different. Others dont notice a difference until they hold the phone up to the affected ear or try to listen to headphones. In some cases SSNHL is preceded by a very noticeable pop,”;which can be quite alarming.
Afterward,;some patients report a feeling of fullness in the affected ear or a strange feeling on that side of the head, possibly accompanied by sudden ringing in the ear ;and dizziness. This is sometimes called “aural fullness.”
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How To Cope With Hearing Loss
If you notice signs of hearing loss, talk to your doctor. If you have trouble hearing, you should:
- Let people know you have a hearing problem.
- Ask people to face you and to speak more slowly and clearly. Also, ask them to speak louder without shouting.
- Pay attention to what is being said and to facial expressions or gestures.
- Let the person talking know if you do not understand what he or she said.
- Ask the person speaking to reword a sentence and try again.
- Find a good location to listen. Place yourself between the speaker and sources of noise and look for quieter places to talk.
The most important thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to seek professional advice. Your family doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your hearing problem. Or, your doctor may refer you to other experts, like an otolaryngologist or an audiologist .
Treatment For Conductive Hearing Loss Caused By Earwax Blockage
If you have conductive hearing loss caused by the accumulation of earwax in your ear, you shouldn’t try to remove the wax by yourself. Doing this may push the earwax further in your ear canal and cause more damage.
However, with the supervision or guidance of a doctor, you may be able to get rid of the earwax blockage at home. Below are some home remedies your doctor may recommend.
Recognizing Sudden Hearing Loss
According to current medical standards, a diagnosis for sudden hearing loss is determined through the process of elimination. Your ENT specialist can use ear microscopy and a hearing test to ascertain whether you have a sudden hearing loss or another illness. Various examination procedures are performed to obtain clarification. Your ENT specialist, for example, can use otoscopy to discover whether other external characteristics, such as obstructions and injuries in the ear canal, should be excluded. Using hearing tests , the doctor determines the extent and localization of the hearing impairment. A doctor can best determine the classification of sudden hearing loss into high-, mid- and low-frequency or pancochlear sensorineural hearing loss by performing a pure-tone audiogram during the diagnostic process.
What is pancochlear sensorineural hearing loss?The word pancochlear is divided into the two terms: pan and cochlea . Therefore, this kind of hearing impairment is one that affects the entire structure of the inner ear
Hearing Loss Causes Of Deafness In One Or Both Ears
Posted by Dr. Chris
Hearing loss may be partial or complete . Conditions affecting the outer ear and middle ear may affect the conduction of sound and is therefore known as conductive hearing loss. Another type of impairment is sensorineural hearing loss, which affects the conversion of mechanical sounds waves into electrical impulses which is then transmitted to the brain. This occurs in the inner ear.
In people of all ages, noise-induced hearing loss and earwax are the main causes of hearing loss, which is usually partial. In the elderly, age results in degenerative changes that may lead to hearing loss which is known as presbycusis .
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When To Get Medical Help
A GP can help;if you think you’re losing your hearing.
- if you or your child suddenly lose hearing , call a GP or NHS 111;as soon as possible
- if you think your or your child’s hearing is getting;gradually worse, make an appointment to see a GP
- if you’re concerned;about a;friend’s or family member’s hearing, encourage them to see a GP
The GP will ask about your symptoms and look inside your ears;using a small handheld torch with a magnifying lens. They can also do some simple checks of your hearing.
If needed, they can refer you to a specialist for more hearing tests.
Symptoms Of Conductive Hearing Loss In Children And Babies
Babies often have their hearing checked a few weeks after birth. Still, it is possible to miss hearing loss in babies and children without external abnormalities like those caused by microtia.
Also, it may be hard to notice if the hearing loss happens gradually.
Symptoms of conductive hearing loss in babies and children include:
Noticing you when they see you but not when you call their name
Inability to say any recognizable word at fifteen months
Slow to talk and speaking incoherent words
Talking very loudly
Turning up the volume of the television very high
Not getting startled by loud noises
Not turning toward your voice at four months
Not replying when you talk to them
Hearing some sounds but not others
Asking for repetition or responding inappropriately to questions
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The Cause Of Sudden Hearing Loss Is Often Unknown
SSNHL differs from other types of hearing loss in a couple of important ways. Aside from its rapid onset, it is often idiopathic, meaning the cause is usually unknown. A cause can be identified in only 10 to 15 percent of diagnosed cases.
Some possible known risk factors and;causes;include:
- Bacterial infection;
- Some drugs can cause hearing loss;as a side effect, known as ototoxic medications, especially if taken in high doses
- Neurologic diseases or disorders
- Head injury or trauma
- Autoimmune diseases
- Circulation issues
How Is Sshl Diagnosed
To diagnose SSHL, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam. Make sure to tell your doctor about other medical conditions you may have and about any over-the-counter and prescription medications youre taking.
During the physical exam, your doctor may ask you to cover one ear at a time while listening to sounds at different volumes. Your doctor may also perform some tests using a tuning fork, which is an instrument that can measure vibrations in the ear. Your doctor uses the results of these tests to check for damage to the parts of the middle ear and eardrum that vibrate.
Audiometry tests can check your hearing more thoroughly and precisely. During these tests, an audiologist will test your hearing ability using earphones. A series of different sounds and volume levels may be sent to each ear individually. This can help determine the level at which your hearing begins to fade.
An MRI scan may also be ordered to look for any abnormalities in your ear, such as tumors or cysts. MRI takes detailed pictures of your brain and inner ear, which can help your doctor find the underlying cause of SSHL.
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Mild Conductive Hearing Loss
The threshold for mild hearing loss is between 25 to 40 decibels. Adults can properly manage mild hearing loss, but children with mild hearing loss can experience impacted language development.
The feeling of mild conductive hearing loss is similar to placing fingers in your ear. A problem in the outer ear that prevents proper reception and transmission of sound to the middle and inner ear often causes this hearing loss.
Types Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss comes in many forms. It can range from a mild loss, in which a person misses certain high-pitched sounds, such as the voices of women and children, to a total loss of hearing.
There are two general categories of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear. The cause may be earwax buildup, fluid, or a punctured eardrum. Medical treatment or surgery can usually restore conductive hearing loss.
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Causes Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can have many different causes. For example:
- sudden hearing loss in 1 ear may be;due to;earwax, an;ear infection, a;perforated eardrum;or;Ménière’s disease
- sudden hearing loss in both ears;may be;due to damage from a very loud noise, or taking certain medicines that can;affect hearing
- gradual hearing loss in 1 ear;may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid ,;a;bony growth; or a;build-up of;skin cells
- gradual hearing loss in both ears is usually caused by;ageing or exposure to loud noises over many years
This may give you an idea of;the reason for;hearing loss ;but make sure you see;a GP to get a proper diagnosis. It might not always be possible to identify an obvious cause.
Devices To Help With Hearing Loss
Your doctor or specialist may suggest you get a hearing aid. Hearing aids are electronic, battery-run devices that make sounds louder. There are many types of hearing aids. Before buying a hearing aid, find out if your health insurance will cover the cost. Also, ask if you can have a trial period so you can make sure the device is right for you. An audiologist or hearing aid specialist will show you how to use your hearing aid.
Assistive-listening devices, mobile apps, alerting devices, and cochlear implants can help some people with hearing loss. Cochlear implants are electronic devices for people with severe hearing loss. They dont work for all types of hearing loss. Alert systems can work with doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm clocks to send you visual signals or vibrations. For example, a flashing light can let you know someone is at the door or the phone is ringing. Some people rely on the vibration setting on their cell phones to alert them to calls.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are a new category of regulated hearing devices that adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss will be able to buy without a prescription. OTC hearing aids will make certain sounds louder to help people with hearing loss listen, communicate, and take part more fully in daily activities. OTC hearing aids are expected to become available in stores and online in the next few years.
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Causes Of Bilateral Hearing Loss
A bilateral hearing loss can be caused by many factors. The most common causes are: age, noise exposure, heredity and medication, which all mostly lead to a sensorineural hearing loss. You can also have a bilateral hearing loss if both of your ears ability to conduct sound into the inner ear are blocked or reduced. This is called a conductive hearing loss.
When the bilateral hearing loss is both conductive and sensorineural, it is called a mixed hearing loss.
If you think that you might have a bilateral hearing loss, we recommend that you get your hearing checked by a hearing professional.
Earache And Ear Infections
Accumulation of earwax buildup can lead to an infection. If you are frequently experiencing ear infections or the symptoms of an infection, consult a physician to determine whether earwax buildup is the culprit. Signs of an ear infection include severe pain in the ear that may or may not subside, visible drainage from the ear, hearing loss, an odor coming from the ear, coughing, fever, or dizziness.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sshl
Approximately nine out of 10 people with SSHL experience hearing loss in only one ear. You may notice hearing loss right after you wake up in the morning. You may also become aware of it when you use headphones or hold a phone to your affected ear. Sudden hearing loss is sometimes preceded by a loud popping sound. Other symptoms include:
- trouble following group conversations
- tinnitus, which occurs when you hear ringing or buzzing sounds in your ear
Symptoms Of Bilateral Hearing Loss
The symptoms of a bilateral hearing loss are reduced hearing in both ears.
A bilateral hearing loss can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. When it is symmetrical, the hearing loss is about the same in both ears. When it is asymmetrical the one ear hears better than the other, but in both cases there is a hearing loss in both ears.;
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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.
Shl Or Just A Stuffy Ear Humming Can Tell
How can you know the difference between a regular stuffy ear and sudden hearing loss? Try this test:
Hum aloud to yourself. With normal hearing, you hear the sound equally in both ears. If you do this when you have a new loss of hearing in one ear, the humming will shift to one side or the other.
For example, if your right ear is affected and the hum is louder in that ear, then the hearing loss is more likely a conductive loss, and probably due to blockage from a cold or built-up ear wax.
However, if the humming is louder in the left ear, it suggests the right ear hearing loss is due to recent nerve damage, and that requires prompt medical attention.
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Treatment Of Conductive Hearing Loss Caused By Fluid In The Ear
In most cases, fluid in the ear does not require treatment; the fluid naturally drains on its own within a few weeks. Under certain conditions, your doctor will prescribe treatment. The treatment type depends on some factors.
If the ears fluid has lasted for about six weeks, they will conduct a hearing test and probably prescribe antibiotics.
Antibiotics can also treat fluid in the ear that has lasted for twelve weeks. If a hearing test is conducted and significant hearing loss, the doctor may place tubes in the ear to drain the fluid.
In severe cases where the fluid in the ear has been present for about four to six months, the doctor will need to place ear tubes surgically even in the absence of hearing loss.
In some cases, fluid in the ear may come alongside an infection. If there is no ear infection, using antibiotics is useless. Some antibiotics like antihistamines can affect the drainage of the auditory tube, and doctors do not recommend them.
If, however, there is an ear infection, your doctor will prescribe the right antibiotic for you.;
Antibiotics that your doctor may recommend include:;
Cipro HC suspension
If you are experiencing pain or fever due to the infection, your doctor may prescribe painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Hearing often returns to normal when the fluid has been drained out of the ear naturally or with surgical intervention.