While sudden temporary hearing loss is often just that (temporary), this doesn’t mean that you won’t experience fear and anxiety by the change. Temporary hearing loss can occur spontaneously or gradually over a few days, and typically affects only one ear. It should be treated as a medical emergency, as delaying seeing an audiologist can cause long-term damage. Here are three of the top temporary hearing loss causes and how to manage them.
Exposure to loud noise
We all know that frequent exposure to loud noises is detrimental to your hearing health. Even short amounts of time in a noisy workplace such as a construction site or nightclub can lead to temporary hearing loss. Similarly, frequent exposure to noises such as loud headphones or concerts that are loud enough to cause ringing in your ears can contribute to permanent noise-induced hearing loss.
Considering any sound exceeding 85 decibels is considered dangerous for your hearing and that most MP3s exceeds 100 decibels in maximum volume, it is wise to be mindful about how loud and how often you are listening to music. To reduce your likelihood of experiencing sudden temporary hearing loss, limit your exposure to loud noises and try to establish the habit of wearing earplugs at noisy venues.
Accumulation of earwax
Earwax, or cerumen, is your body’s way of protecting your ear canal by shielding it from dust and foreign particles, as well as protecting the skin in the ear canal from irritation. However, if earwax becomes impacted or stuck in your canal, it can make it difficult for sound waves to travel through the canal to your eardrum, resulting in temporary hearing loss. If an accumulation of earwax leaves you with temporary hearing loss, consult your healthcare professional who can easily and painlessly flush or remove the wax.
Infection of the middle ear (otitis media)
An infection of the middle ear, also known as otitis media, can result from a previous infection of your respiratory tract that spreads to the ears, as your middle ear is connected to your throat by the Eustachian tube. This means that when the Eustachian tube is blocked, fluids can accumulate behind your eardrum and lead to bacteria growth, resulting in pain and infection.
The build-up of fluids can cause pressure in your middle ear, which in extreme cases can rupture your eardrum and leak blood and pus-like fluids. While this can be painful, a ruptured eardrum will typically repair itself once the infection has cleared; otherwise it can be aided with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Seek expert advice from The Art of Hearing
If you experience sudden hearing loss, it is essential that you consult your Perth audiologist as soon as possible. At The Art of Hearing, our expert team will be able to assess your level of hearing, help determine the cause, and offer treatment for your temporary hearing loss. Similarly, to reduce the possibility of experiencing sudden temporary hearing loss, visit our Perth hearing clinic for a routine hearing assessment. Get in touch with The Art of Hearing today at (08) 9390 8811 or book an appointment online.