While most hearing loss is permanent, there are some patients who are lucky enough to have their hearing return. Known as temporary hearing loss, this condition has three common causes. Below is a look at each cause and their standard treatment.
Exposure to Loud Noise
Standing in the front row of a concert at Tabernacle can make for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It can also lead to temporary hearing loss.
Within the inner ear are tiny hair cells that are responsible for passing sound information to the brain. Loud noises can damage these hair cells; extended exposure can cause permanent damage. This type of hearing loss is known as noise-induced hearing loss. Fortunately, after seeing a single show it is unlikely the concert deafness you are experiencing is permanent.
The simple treatment for concert deafness is resting your ears. Since this is a sign you have harmed your inner ear, exposure to additional loud noises can cause additional, and possibly more permanent, damage.
Protecting your hearing before you enter a loud environment is the best treatment. Disposable earplugs can be purchased from your local pharmacy. If you find yourself in dangerously loud environments often, you should consider investing in custom earmolds, which offer a more comfortable fit and superior hearing protection.
Middle Ear Infection
A middle ear infection can occur when there is a buildup of fluid within the ear. This is usually the result of a cold or virus. While common in children, people of all ages can develop an infection in the middle ear.
This buildup of fluid within the ear can put pressure on the structures of the ear responsible for hearing. If there is enough pressure, your eardrum can rupture. While painful, the hearing loss caused by a ruptured eardrum is usually only temporary.
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for a middle ear infection. While you may start to feel better after a few days, it is important to continue taking the entire course of antibiotics your doctor prescribed.
Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a naturally occurring substance that helps fight off infections, keeps your ear moisturized and prevents unwanted dirt, germs and debris from entering the ear.
While the ears are generally self-cleaning, earwax can build up and create a blockage. This prevents sound from entering your ear and causes temporary hearing loss.
Your doctor can easily flush out or remove the impacted earwax from your ear. This process is generally quick and painless. To learn more about temporary hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Georgia Hearing Institute today.