There are a number of causes of hearing loss. Some produce temporary hearing loss, which means your hearing should return to normal once the initial problem is resolved, while causes like old age and exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Below is a breakdown of conditions that can lead to temporary hearing loss.
Ear infections can be experienced at any age, but are more common in children. In fact, experts estimate that five out of every six children will experience at least one ear infection by their third birthday.
Cause by a bacterial infection, ear infections usually develop after an illness like a cold or respiratory infection. The bacteria can travel from other parts of your body and settle in the middle ear.
Common symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- Hearing loss
Fortunately, hearing loss caused by an ear infection is only temporary and should return to normal after the infection has run its course.
Known as cerumen, earwax is naturally produced by the hair follicles and glands in your inner ear. Earwax moisturizes the skin in your ear canal, helps fight off infections and prevents dirt, dust and other debris from entering the ear.
While earwax usually falls out of your ear all on its own, it can build up and block your ear canal. This leads to a plugged-up feeling, tinnitus and hearing loss.
A buildup of earwax can be removed at home by cleaning your ear with a washcloth and warm water. If this does not solve the problem, visit your doctor. They can remove the impacted earwax and provide you with tips to prevent this from happening in the future.
Once the blockage of earwax is removed, your hearing will return to normal.
While temporary hearing loss will likely fade, there may still be a chance of lasting damage. Contact Audiology Center Northwest at the first sign of trouble with your hearing and for an audiologist to determine the severity of your loss. If your hearing loss is permanent, your audiologist will work with you to determine the best hearing aids to help you hear your best.