Treating Sudden Hearing Loss: Can You Get Your Hearing Back
Although treatments for sudden hearing loss are still fairly limited, they are important: 85% of those who receive prompt medical attention regain some or all of their hearing. This is mostly good news for people hoping to regain their hearing in one ear.
The drugs used to to treat sudden hearing loss are steroids, which suppress inflammation. Specifically, corticosteroids are the most common treatment for SSNHL. They work by helping the body fight illness, decreasing swelling and reducing inflammation. Usually administered in pill form, the steroids also can be given through an injection behind the eardrum.
With prompt treatment, you have a good chance of regaining some or all of your lost hearing.
Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
As stated above, the inner ear has two sections, one for hearing and the other for balance . For this article, we are mostly concerned with hearing loss due to disorders in the cochlea but some conditions affecting hearing also affect balance.
Its also the case that tinnitus can accompany almost all causes of hearing loss, especially those arising in the cochlea and/or centrally.
Is There A Cure For Hearing Loss After Viral Infection
The hearing loss that occurs after viral infection is likely to be a result of oxygen depletion, explaining why it is not always possible to return normal hearing to a patient through treatment with medication – if the damage done is too severe, there may be no effective treatment.
Possible treatments include steroid medication to reduce damage caused by infection and inflammation, and antiviral agents in cases where infection is still active. Oxygen therapy to improve the supply of oxygen to damaged tissues can also be helpful in some cases.
For some people, hearing will return over time, as the damaged tissue repairs itself, but whether or not hearing returns is largely dependent on how much damage has been done. In cases where damage is severe, hearing loss may be permanent.
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What Are The Types Of Hearing Loss
There are two main types of hearing loss:
Although its often not reversible, sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids, which amplify sounds, or cochlear implants, which bypass the damaged portions of the hearing system and electrically stimulate the auditory nerve.
Viral Causes Of Acquired Hearing Loss
Some viral causes of acquired hearing loss include:
- Measles . This RNA virus once accounted for 5-10% of all cases of profound hearing loss in the U.S., though it came close to being eradicated thanks to vaccines. Today the virus continues to cause hearing loss in areas with low vaccination rates.
- Mumps. In the same family as measles, sensorineural hearing loss is one of many side effects of the mumps. In some cases, this hearing loss can be reversed.
- West Nile virus. This RNA virus is related to both yellow and dengue fever. Its transmitted through insects primarily mosquitoes. Fortunately, hearing loss is a rare side effect.
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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.
What Causes Hearing Loss After Viral Infection
So what is the link between viral infections and hearing loss? For the most part, the evidence which links sudden hearing loss and viral infection is largely circumstantial.
While between 17% and 33% of people with sudden hearing loss report experiencing a recent viral infection, it is also important to note that in one study, 25% of patients visiting one otolaryngology clinic had experienced viral infection without hearing loss in the month prior to their visit .
However, ear examination of people who experience hearing loss after viral infection show ear damage in the cochlea which is consistent with injuries that occur as a result of viral infection. Structural changes which result in hearing loss have been noted in people who recently experienced mumps, rubella, measles, or herpes infections, among others.
The exact cause of hearing loss after viral infection is unknown, but studies show that during infections that affect the ears, the blood supply to the ears may be reduced, resulting in oxygen depletion and ear damage.
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Can Virus Associated Hearing Loss Be Treated
Prevention is the best cure for congenital conditions with vaccinations for young women providing the best protection. In most developed nations viruses such as rubella have been almost completely eradicated thanks to such vaccination programmes. Whilst a number of viruses lead to permanent hearing loss in some cases hearing will spontaneously return when the virus has run its course. Such spontaneous healing is often seen with viruses such as the West Nile virus.
Antiviral therapies may be effective although some drugs, especially those used in the treatment of HIV or cancer may be ototoxic and lead to hearing loss. Corticosteroids may be effective for treating some viruses such as Varicella Zoster Virus.
Some researchers believe that viruses cause hearing loss due to oxygen depletion and the resulting oxygen starvation of the cochlea and auditory system. In these cases oxygen therapies may be effective in restoring some hearing.
The reality is there are no guarantees that treatments will completely restore your loved ones hearing. Thats why it is vital to monitor young childrens hearing for signs of any hearing deficiency. This is especially important during those first two critical years when so much social development takes place.
You can download this handy list of early childhood developmental stages to help you keep an eye open for any warning signs. If you notice any of these signs you should see a doctor and a hearing professional as soon as possible.
Sudden Hearing Loss In One Ear
Contributed by Joy Victory, managing editor, Healthy HearingLast updated June 11, 20212021-06-11T00:00:00-05:00
If you or a loved one has suddenly developed hearing loss, see your doctor right away. While often downplayed as not serious, any new or sudden hearing loss should be taken seriously by you and your healthcare providers. Why? The sooner you get a thorough audiological workup, the better your chances are for a full recovery.
Sudden hearing loss usually only affects one ear, and for those who don’t get better, permanent single-sided deafness can be the outcome. This kind of hearing loss, also known as unilateral hearing loss, presents unique problems, such as the inability to know where sounds are coming from, and something known as the “head shadow” effect. In some cases, a person will still have some hearing ability left, which can be amplified with a hearing aid.
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How To Treat Otitis Externa
You may use any of the following steps as prevention or to aid your recovery:
- Avoid getting the ear wet using measures such as wearing a shower cap in the shower.
- Avoid putting objects in your ear such as Q tips, bobby pins or other objects
- Using EarKare twice a week will help keep the ear clean and dry. Learn about EarKare from our website.
- Take over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain associated with the infection.
- Use dry heat to help relieve the pain.
- A doctor may prescribe antibiotic ear drops that will help.
- Treat any other conditions that affect the risk of otitis externa such as allergies.
At the Silverstein Institute, we specialize in the treatment of ear diseases including the causes of otitis media and otitis externa. If you are dealing with hearing loss resulting from either of these conditions, schedule an appointment so that our staff can determine a course of treatment.
How Otitis Externa Causes Hearing Loss
The most common cause of otitis externais a bacterial infection, though it can be fungal in some instances. The infection can cause hearing loss and severe pain due to swelling, discharge or the thick buildup of dry skin which narrows the ear canal. The risk of otitis externa may increase due to other conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Using Q tips is a common cause of external otitis.
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Viral Causes Of Both Congenital & Acquired Hearing Loss
As stated previously, some viruses can result in both congenital and acquired hearing loss, including:
- HSV Types 1 & 2. These viruses belong to the herpesvirus family, which can occur in both children and adults. Adults typically acquire the virus through contact, while children are usually infected in-utero by HSV1- or HSV2-positive mothers however, this can be prevented in many cases.
- Human immunodeficiency virus . This well-known RNA virus can lead to AIDS along with a variety of other illnesses. Hearing loss is a common side-effect of HIV, as two out of three HIV-positive children have sensorineural hearing loss.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, its still possible to catch a virus at West Lake Beach during socially-distanced activities. For more information about the viral causes of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.
Hearing Loss Caused By Ear Infections And How To Treat It
In some cases, an ear infection can cause temporary hearing loss. The term for this type of hearing loss is conductive hearing loss and it occurs when the infection blocks sound from reaching the middle ear via the ear canal.
Two of the most common infections that cause hearing loss are otitis media and otitis externa. Otitis media is a middle ear infection and otitis externa is an infection of the ear canal that causes swelling.
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Degrees Of Hearing Loss
There are four clinically labeled degrees of hearing loss:
If you have mild hearing loss, you may hear some speech sounds, but will have difficulty with soft sounds.
If you have moderate hearing loss, youll struggle to hear/understand speech when someone is talking at a normal level.
If you have severe hearing loss, you will hear little-to-no speech when spoken at normal levels, and hear only some loud sounds.
If you have profound hearing loss, you may only hear very loud sounds and no speech at all.
Hearing Aids Can Help The Situation
The viruses that cause hearing loss, not only affect your physical health, but also mental and psychological well being. Weve discussed several times how hearing complications and loss can affect your day to day life, family life, and general communication with the surrounding world, leading to such complications as depression.
Hence, whenever a virus that causes hearing loss is identified, it is extremely important to turn to the help of a hearing aid and come back to your normal hearing environment.
Modern hearing aid solutions come in various styles, designs, functions, and styles, ll to be tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
Our professionals in Hearing Aid Source are always here to help you with any questions regarding your hearing aids, from research to implementations.
Make sure to check our wide range of hearing aid products as well as read our further blogs on related topics on our website. In case of any other questions dont hesitate to contact us!
There are viruses that cause hearing loss, but there are also various alternatives to solve this issue, one of the most prominent and promising ones being the use of hearing aid solutions.
While there is more research needed in the area of identifying the exact viruses that cause hearing loss, the effectiveness of hearing aid has been approved for a long time.
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What You Need To Know About Viral Causes Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss isn’t always caused by old age it can be caused by several factors, including viruses. What viruses cause hearing loss and what are the symptoms?
It’s a common misconception that hearing loss can only be caused by exposure to loud noises, old age, or a prenatal damage. However, many people experience hearing loss due to infections. Many of these infections are caused by viruses that affect the cochlea, blood vessels in the ear, or other parts of the body that deal with hearing.
There is no single virus that causes hearing loss, and not everyone’s experience is the same. While one person might survive a serious childhood infection and end up with profound hearing loss or even deaf, another might experience a virus later in life. Hearing loss comes in many forms, and while we can draw patterns between them, every case is unique.
While there is no surefire way to avoid hearing loss, staying vigilant and recognizing symptoms of viruses early on can prevent them from spreading further. Proper diagnosis and treatment are also necessary, so it’s best to know what kinds of viruses cause hearing loss in the first place.
Viruses That Cause Hearing Loss
As mentioned above, viral causes of hearing loss can vary between congenital, acquired, and both. It’s important to differentiate between these three in order to successfully diagnose someone. If you or a loved one is suffering from sudden SNHL or sudden sensorineural hearing loss, it is vital that you seek help from a professional. While you can find information about potential viruses online, only a doctor can diagnose and treat you.
Children who suffer from congenital viruses are at a greater risk of hearing loss. These viruses can include:
Children and adults suffering from SNHL can also be diagnosed with the following viruses, which cause both congenital and acquired hearing loss after infection.
- HSV Types 1 & 2. Both HSV one and two belong to the herpesvirus family, and this virus can occur in children and adults. While adults might acquire this virus through contact, children with HSV1 or HSV2-positive mothers can become infected in-utero. To prevent infection of children from their mothers, therapies, medications, and cesarean births are recommended.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus . A well-known RNA virus that can lead to AIDS, along with a variety of other conditions and illnesses. By killing T-cells, children and adults suffering from HIV become susceptible to opportunistic infections. Hearing loss is a common side effect of HIV, with 2/3 of HIV-positive children suffering SNHL, and 1/2 of that group suffering from developed hearing loss.
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Ear Infection Hearing Loss Is Often Temporary
Hearing loss caused by an ear infection is usually temporary and subsides after treatment. Your physician may choose to treat your ear infection with antibiotics. If the antibiotics successfully treat the infection, your hearing should return to normal. If you have a history of recurrent ear infections, your physician may insert a tube in your ear drum to help the fluid drain.
Eliminating the buildup of fluid relieves the pain and pressure that often accompanies an ear infection and can prevent the eardrum from rupturing. If fluid builds up without resolution, the pressure can cause your eardrum to rupture.
A history of recurrent ear infections can also lead to tympanosclerosis, which is the thickening or scarring of the tympanic membrane. A perforated eardrum and tympanosclerosis adversely affect the mobility of the eardrum and reduce hearing acuity. If your hearing does not return to normal following treatment, your physician and hearing professional may recommend hearing aids to treat the unresolved hearing loss.
Viruses That Could Cause Hearing Loss
As weve become all too aware, a virus can often seem to come out of nowhere and cause a variety of frustrating, sometimes scary, symptoms. Viruses can be as mild as the common cold or as severe as Ebola. What you may not know, is that some viruses have also been linked to hearing loss.
Heres what you need to know about the connection between viruses and hearing loss.
What is a virus?
We hear a lot about them, but what is a virus? By definition, a virus is an infectious agent that can only replicate within a host organism. They are microscopic in size but can be powerful and adaptable, posing a risk to the bacteria, plants, animals, and even people they infect.
Which viruses are linked to hearing loss?
If weve learned anything lately, its that every virus is different, and every virus affects every person a little differently. With that said, several viruses put us at higher risk for hearing loss, whether that is congenital hearing loss or a loss that happens due to a virus later in life. Here are the viruses most commonly linked with hearing loss:
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