Is Your Hearing Loss Temporary?

Temporary hearing loss may be caused by an obstruction or other health condition. While many causes of hearing loss can eventually be resolved and your hearing can be restored to what it once was, it’s essential to see an audiologist or ENT (ear, nose, throat) physician ASAP in order to make sure complications don’t arise that lead to permanent hearing loss. Below are some causes of temporary hearing loss.

Impacted Earwaxwoman getting her ears checked by a doctor

The glands and hair follicles in the inner ear produce earwax, known medically as cerumen. Typically, earwax works its way out of the ear through natural jaw movements when talking or eating. However, when the ear produces too much or something like a hearing aid or earbud prevents the wax from exiting your ear, it can become impacted, causing temporary hearing loss. Never try to remove earwax with a cotton swab, bobby pin or other similar object. You can remove the wax with over-the-counter eardrops and a warm wash cloth. If that doesn’t work, visit your audiologist from a professional ear cleaning.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are most common in children because their Eustachian tubes – which drain fluids to equalize pressure in the ears – are much smaller and more horizontal than adults’. However, adults can also be susceptible to an ear infection, especially after a cold. Ear infections cause a feeling of fullness in the ear that may be accompanied by hearing loss. While most clear up on their own, severe infections may require antibiotics.

High Blood Pressure

Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are both associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure and experience these symptoms, visit your doctor right away.

Noise Exposure

After attending a rock concert, mowing the lawn or using power tools, it is common to experience some level of hearing loss. While this is often temporary, being exposed to extremely loud sounds for a short time or moderately loud sounds for a prolonged amount of time can cause irreversible damage to your hearing. This is because the stereocilia – tiny hair cells in the inner ear that convert soundwaves into electrical energy that the brain interprets as sound – are extremely sensitive, and once they die, they do not regenerate.

For more information about temporary hearing loss or to schedule a visit with an audiologist, contact the experts at Hearing Services of Santa Barbara today.

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