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Is Hearing Loss Always Permanent?

Is Hearing Loss Always Permanent? - Hearing, Balance and Speech Center

Is hearing loss always permanent? You might be wondering this very question, especially if you have noticed that your hearing ability has declined recently. We rely on our hearing more than we realize. There are different types of hearing loss, and the good news is that not all hearing loss is permanent. However, if you are experiencing any type of hearing loss (especially if it is sudden), then it’s vital to have it checked out by a hearing professional immediately. Temporary hearing loss can become permanent if left untreated.

Reasons for Temporary Hearing Loss

Temporary hearing loss is usually due to something health related, or it can be an obstruction in the ear. Any time your hearing ability changes, you should seek medical attention. Sudden hearing loss is often an emergency. Depending on the type of hearing loss or the cause, you might need to see either an audiologist or an ear, nose & throat specialist. Here are some causes of temporary hearing loss to look out for:

  • Noise induced hearing loss. One of the most common and growing causes of hearing loss is noise-induced. This can not only be prevented, but noise-induced hearing loss can be temporary. The key is protecting your hearing when you are exposed to loud noises and limiting exposure. Continued exposure to loud sounds can result in permanent hearing loss.
  • Ear infection. Infections in the ear can cause a number of issues including temporary hearing loss. Your doctor will usually treat an ear infection with oral antibiotics or ear drops. Once the infection clears up, then your hearing should return to normal. If your hearing does not seem to bounce back, consult us for a check up on your ears.
  • Perforated Ear Drum. A perforation is the medical term for a hole in the ear drum. There are a number of different things that can cause a perforated eardrum. The hearing loss associated with this is temporary because hearing will usually return to normal once the hole is healed. A perforated eardrum is diagnosed by a doctor or audiologist and can be caused by trauma, a quick change in ear pressure, or a build up of pressure during an ear infection. Smaller sized holes can often heal on their own; but in more severe cases tympanoplasty has to be performed.
  • Too much ear wax. Earwax is normally completely healthy and good for our ears. In fact, it is produced to protect foreign objects from getting in our inner ears and canal. In some rare cases, too much earwax is produced and builds up to form a blockage. If you suspect that earwax is causing you difficulty hearing, seek medical attention to have it removed by a medical professional. If you try to remove it yourself, you can push it in further and make the problem worse.
  • Blockage in the ear canal. Earwax is supposed to be in the ears (in small quantities); however, other small objects can sometimes become lodged in the ear accidentally. If this happens, you can experience difficulty hearing. If this happens to you, seek medical attention immediately, even if it means going to the urgent care clinic or emergency room.
  • High blood pressure. When your blood pressure gets too high, it can indicate a number of different health issues and should be checked out by your doctor regardless of whether or not it is interfering with your hearing. One of the side effects of high blood pressure can be tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ears. This is usually temporary and will subside when your blood pressure returns to normal. If you still experience any difficulty hearing or tinnitus symptoms after your blood pressure goes down, then reach out to us to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment.
  • Strenuous exercise. Of course, exercise is good for you as long as you don’t overexert yourself. Exercising beyond your fitness level can result in temporary hearing loss.

Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center is Here to Help You with all Your Listening Needs

Have more questions about your hearing? Please contact us at Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center to speak with one of our hearing professionals or schedule an appointment at any one of our 6 convenient locations in Connecticut: Hamden, Waterbury, Norwalk, Wallingford, Branford, or Bristol. We are here to help you and take care of all your listening needs.

Research / Sources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hearing-loss-causes
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20373072