Is your hearing loss temporary or permanent?

Have you noticed you’re not hearing as well as you normally do? There are many causes of hearing loss from age-related hearing loss to viral infections like mumps. Your hearing health is important to your overall health so be sure to stay on top of it! The window to restore hearing closes two to four weeks after the onset of hearing loss, meaning the hearing loss will then become permanent and irreversible. 

Nearly 1 in 10 people know their hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, but more than half of those people have never gotten their hearing tested. The most obvious reason to get your hearing tested is to have a baseline of your hearing. That way, when you do start noticing you’re not hearing the same, we can prove it and help you on your hearing journey.

If you ignore your hearing problem, it is likely to get worse and could become irreversible. Once those tiny little hairs in your ears are damaged they will not grow back. This means that the sound waves will not be sent to your brain, thus you will not be able to hear. If you take care of your hearing problems early, the cure may be simpler and easier.

Take Action

Depending on the cause, your hearing loss may just be temporary. If you’ve developed a rapid or sudden hearing loss in one or both ears, you should seek medical help. You may have harmful inflammation that can be treated aggressively with steroids. If left untreated, it could mean permanent damage to your hearing.

Some possible causes of sudden hearing loss (SSHL) are below:

  • Meniere’s disease, inner ear disorders
  • Migraines
  • Tumors, acoustic neuroma
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Trauma or head injuries
  • Autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neurological diseases or disorders, multiple sclerosis
  • Circulation issues, vasculitis

SSHL 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 10-15 percent of diagnosed cases.  

Ear infection

Sometimes a bad cold can turn into an ear infection, which can muffle hearing.  Although this condition is commonly seen in children, it can happen at any age. While ear infections typically clear up by themselves, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor just in case yours needs to be treated with an antibiotic.

Excessive earwax

The tiny hair follicles and glands in your inner ear produce cerumen, commonly referred to as earwax. Although this wax usually falls out of your ears naturally or with a gentle wash, it sometimes builds up and blocks the ear canal. When this happen you may feel a sensation that the ear is plugged. You may hear a ringing in your ear, also known as tinnitus, or you may experience a slight hearing loss. Our hearing instrument specialist are trained to safely remove excess ear wax. 

Extreme stress or exercise

If you are under a lot of stress, it is very common for your hearing to feel the affects. Extreme stress can also trigger hearing problems or tinnitus. Strenuous exercise beyond your fitness levels can also have a negative impact on your health temporarily. If the symptoms persist you should see your doctor.

Loud noises

It is very common to temporarily lose your hearing or to experience tinnitus after you’ve been exposed to really loud noises. Being exposed to really loud noises like attending a rock concert or being exposed to loud lawn equipment can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Preventing hearing loss is very important because repeated exposure to loud blasts can cause permanent hearing loss. Be sure to wear protective hearing gear when you’re going to be partaking in those loud noise activities.

Treating sudden hearing loss

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. Corticosteroids are the most common treatment for SSHL. They work by helping the body fight illness, decreasing swelling, and reducing inflammation.

If you suspect that you might have SSHL, the first step is to get you in for an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists and get your hearing tested. We will give you a pure tone audiometry hearing test to measure your hearing loss. This test can determine the range of hearing loss in decibels. SSHL will be diagnosed in the case of a hearing loss of at least 30 decibels in at least three connected frequencies. 

Today’s hearing aids

There’s no need to put off getting your hearing tested or trying hearing aids. Technology has gotten better and will help you to live a more fulfilled life by wearing hearing aids. Our hearing aids are sleek and have built in artificial intelligence to make your life simpler and easier.

  • Wearing hearing aids will make me look old. Missing the punch line to a joke or not paying attention can make you look far more “out of it” than wearing a hearing aid. Keeping up with the conversation is what keeps you sharp. In fact, the worse a person’s hearing gets, the more likely they are to develop dementia, studies show.
  • Hearing aids are bulky and ugly. Hearing aids that fit completely inside the ear canal now work for most people. We have a range of hearing aid styles and technology levels to meet everyone’s hearing needs.
  • Hearing aids make everything sound too loud. In the past, hearing aids just made all sounds louder. Today, they adjust automatically to provide enough volume for whatever you’re listening to.

Please call us today to start your hearing wellness journey! We love to help our patients hear their loved ones again! With prompt treatment, you have a good chance of regaining some or all of your hearing loss. If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, give us a call today. Your ears are the reason we are in business, we are here to help you hear your best. Call today for your free hearing test and get back to hearing your loved ones!