Treatment for Temporary Hearing Loss – Possible or Not?

Have you ever faced a situation right after a loud concert or a bad cold, you are not able to listen from one or both ears? Either ear is ringing or you are not able to hear properly in this cases, you may be experiencing temporary hearing loss. This is more or less a common occurrence. These are so mild that we can’t even notice it until the ears have “popped open” and normal hearing is resumed.

Causes of temporary hearing loss

There can be many underlying causes responsible for the temporary hearing loss. These causes may include:

1)Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

The mechanism of the inner ear is very delicate and sensitive to loud noise, specifically louder than 85 decibels. Listening to loud noise such as concerts, not wearing earplugs while shooting firearms, you are at a risk of hearing damage. This hearing loss can be temporary or permanent depending on the level of noise and proximity to your ear.

2) Clogged Ear Canal

Sometimes the reason behind damaged hearing is the blockage in the ear. This blockage will hinder your ability to listen. Sometimes your ear may feel stuffy which may be due to excessive earwax, swelling due to ear infection, or fluid in the middle ear.

3) Ototoxic Medication

There are certain medications which prove to be toxic for your hearing. This results in the temporary hearing loss. You need to avoid such medication.

4) Scratches or Abrasion in the Ear Canal

Using pointed objects such as hairpin, cotton swabs or fingernail to clean your ear canal can lead to the temporary hearing loss or Itchy ears as they push the earwax deeper. In such cases consult a professional as soon as possible, to treat the hearing loss.

5) Perforated eardrum

An ear infection, loud sounds, trauma, or intense pressure in the ear from flying in an airplane or scuba diving can damage the eardrum, leaving a hole that may or may not heal. Depending on the size of the hole, there may be mild or moderate hearing loss.

6) Meniere’s disease

Symptoms of this inner ear disorder include:

  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss that comes and goes
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Fullness in the ear

Hearing loss in Meniere’s disease usually gets worse but only involves one ear.

How to Treat Temporary Hearing Loss?

Temporary Hearing Loss requires to lose some of your bad habits to be treated soon and efficiently. Treatment of temporary hearing loss depends on its underlying causes. The delay or any careless act can result in the temporary hearing loss to irreversible hearing loss.

Give Periodic Break to The Ear

The moment you notice ringing in your ear while you are in a noisy environment, take a break by being away from that noise source for a few minutes. Turn down the volume of all sound sources. Use ear protection device (ear muffs/earplugs) to prevent further damage by loud concerts, fireworks display etc. Ear protection is also necessary if you cherish hobbies like motorcycling, snowmobiles, firearms etc.

Remove Blockage

One of the major reason for the temporary hearing loss is a blockage in the ear. And as soon as it is removed, your hearing may return to normal. Blockage leading to temporary hearing loss can be categorized as:

Earwax – Most of the time earwax is beneficial for your ears as it traps the dust and small particles before they reach the eardrum. Generally, earwax falls out naturally of your ear. But if excessive earwax gets impacted it leads to ear blockage. In this condition, consult an ENT professional to remove the blockage, hence restoring your hearing.

Try to avoid cotton swabs to clean your ears as it may also cause hearing loss.

Ear Infection In this case, the hearing is restored as soon as the infection is cleared. But if you experience pain or discharge from the infected ear along with high fever, headache or stiff neck, then consult a professional immediately. Getting the right treatment on time for ear infection will restore the hearing to normal.

Swimmer’s Ear– If you experience fullness in your ear, pain or itching after a swimming session, this may be the case of swimmer’s ear. This condition or ear canal infection may be due to trapped water in your ear. The hearing can be retained to normal as soon as the water is removed from the ear. But if you tried to clean your ear using cotton swabs, hairpins or your finger, it may lead to abrasion or scratches in your ear canal. If this condition is treated properly by a medical professional, then the hearing can be restored to normal. Use swimmer’s earplugs to prevent your ears from moisture.

A temporary hearing loss in one ear

Hearing loss in one ear occurs when a person is not able to hear from one ear, another ear will still work i.e. you will still be able to hear from other ears. A person suffering from this kind of problem will find it difficult to hear sounds from a distant source in a crowded place.

This condition is also known as unilateral deafness or unilateral hearing loss. It may be described as the inability to listen from one ear or one side. The type of hearing inability are mostly conductive in nature as the ear canal or outer ear are affected rather than the inner or middle ear which is a sensorineural hearing loss.

This sudden loss in hearing from one ear needs medical attention. You should always consult your doctor if you experience this kind of problem as the doctor will then be able to provide your medical treatment and will also refer you to a specialist.

After diagnosis, the doctor will give you proper treatment whether it is hearing aid, surgery, or medications.

Hearing loss in one ear may also occur due to the result of prescribed medicine by a doctor:

  • chemotherapy drugs
  • diuretics such as furosemide
  • salicylate (aspirin) toxicity
  • antibiotics such as streptomycin and tobramycin

Difference between temporary and permanent hearing loss

The permanent hearing loss is irreversible i.e. the loss of hearing will never get better as compared to the temporary hearing loss which is reversible. This doesn’t mean that a person will continue losing and worsening their hearing conditions. But the level at which the person hears will remain the same without using a hearing aid. One will not be able to improve his/her hearing ability without a technology.

A temporary hearing loss is a loss of hearing that occurs only for a short period of time i.e. it is reversible. The hearing condition of person will be reversed to normal once the problem is addressed. As soon as the hearing deficiency is diagnosed the person should adopt the preventive measures against hearing loss to have a normal hearing condition.

Consult a Professional

If you have any concerns regarding your medications, make sure to consult your Physician. If the underlying cause of your temporary hearing loss is offensive medication, then discontinuing the medicine may restore your hearing.

Only a qualified medical professional can determine if your hearing loss is permanent or temporary. For this, you need to take an appointment with the hearing health professional. They will thoroughly evaluate your hearing to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment for it. While evaluating, the hearing professional ill ask certain questions concerning your current health and hearing problem. It also determines if anything from the past suggests an ongoing health issue.

Afterwards, ear examination is done for any signs of abnormality before giving a hearing test to narrow down the possibility of occurrence. There are some conditions which require advanced testing. For these conditions, you need to visit an otolaryngologist (ENT).

Conclusion

It is really important to consult a professional to find out the cause and get the appropriate treatment for the temporary hearing loss.

It is not possible to cure all condition of hearing disability. The only way to know if it is reversible or not is to consult a hearing professional for a thorough evaluation. Since there are so many different issues leading to a temporary hearing loss. It’s important to find out the underlying cause and get proper treatment.

Treatment for Temporary Hearing Loss – Possible or Not?
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