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Understanding the Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Hearing Loss

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One of the hardest things to be told in life is that you have a hearing loss. Most people don’t want to get this news. One of the first questions that patients have for the audiologist is whether their hearing loss is permanent or temporary. This is a valid question and one that will help you move forward in dealing with your hearing loss. The silver lining in learning about hearing loss is that you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments to address your hearing loss so that it will be less of an issue.

What Is Permanent Hearing Loss?                                     permanent hearing loss

One of the hardest things to be told in life is that you have a hearing loss. Most people don’t want to get this news. One of the first questions that patients have for the audiologist is whether their hearing loss is permanent or temporary. This is a valid question and one that will help you move forward in dealing with your hearing loss. The silver lining in learning about hearing loss is that you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments to address your hearing loss so that it will be less of an issue.

Causes of Permanent Hearing Loss

There are some causes of permanent hearing loss. These include congenital disabilities, damage from loud noise, aging, and ototoxicity. A baby can be born with congenital disabilities that render the ears unable to hear. A person exposed to loud volume noises can suffer from temporary hearing loss if the loud noises happened on a short-term basis and didn’t damage the ear beyond repair. However, repeated exposure may cause permanent hearing loss. People can start to lose their hearing over time, a condition called presbycusis. In some situations, this is a genetic condition. Finally, ototoxicity is a type of permanent hearing loss that’s caused by medications such as chemotherapy drugs or some intravenous antibiotics.

What Is Temporary Hearing Loss?

As noted previously, a temporary hearing loss is a loss of hearing that only happens for a short period. The person’s hearing will revert to normal if the thing that’s causing the hearing loss is addressed. There’s also the chance that if a person doesn’t correct this issue, the hearing loss that they are experiencing can become permanent.

Causes of Temporary Hearing Loss

Some causes of temporary hearing loss include a buildup of wax in the ear canal, a foreign body in the ear canal, ear drum perforation and an ear infection. Wax is the body’s natural way of protecting your ear drum. It keeps items out of your ear canal. However, too much wax can block sound from entering the ear canal. This can require a professional to clean it out. The same is true if there is a foreign body blocking the ear canal, such as a Lego, a broken ear plug that was put in too far or other very small items. After this is removed, the hearing should go back to normal.

Additional Causes of Hearing Loss

A perforation or hole in the eardrum can cause hearing loss. This can occur from blunt force trauma to the side of the head, a loud explosion near the head, a cotton swab going in too far or pressure from an ear infection. The change of air pressure, such as when you’re flying, may also cause temporary hearing difficulties. These holes often heal on their own, but sometimes the hole is too large. A larger hold may require a tympanoplasty. The hearing will return once this hole heals. Ear infections can cause hearing loss that will get better once the infection is gone.

Diagnosis

If you suspect that you have hearing loss due to any of the temporary or permanent reasons above, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to visit with a doctor that specializes in ear, nose and throat cases. This specialist is called an otolaryngologist. This specialist will help you to determine what is causing your hearing loss, and how to best proceed with treatment.

Can a Hearing a Aid Help?

Hearing aids or ear amplification devices can help you with your hearing issues. OTC hearing aids are different from traditional hearing aids in that they don’t require a prescription, and they are often less expensive.

How Hearing Aids Work

Over the counter hearing aids amplify the sounds around you so you can hear better in your immediate environment. This kind of hearing aid is perfect for someone with a light-to-moderate hearing loss that wouldn’t necessarily have enough hearing loss to need a prescription. An OTC hearing aid is also a relevant choice when a person notices a difference in his or her life when it comes to social or other situations.

No matter if you’re dealing with permanent or temporary hearing loss, it’s a good idea to speak with a professional about what your options are when it comes to an over the counter hearing aid or a traditional prescription hearing aid. Dealing with hearing loss, permanent or temporary, can impact the way you live your life without even realizing that you started doing things to compensate for the loss. Get a solution that helps you to put your life back the way that you want it without having to worry about whether you can hear the sounds that enhance your daily life.

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