Have you ever been to a really loud concert only to leave the venue with ringing ears and deafened hearing? Or have you ever developed a bad cold or sinus infection and wake up one morning with no hearing in one of your ears? Though often terrifying, instances like these are common side effects of temporary hearing loss.
What Is Temporary Hearing Loss?
Temporary hearing loss is when an individual experiences a ringing sound or muted hearing in one or both ears. Though these effects typically only last for a short period of time, they can be damaging to you hearing in the long run.
What Causes Temporary Hearing Loss?
Though there are many different things that can cause temporary hearing loss, below are three of most common and how to prevent them:
- Noise-induced hearing loss (NHL): The inside of your ear is extremely delicate and overly sensitive to loud noises, especially those over 85 decibels. For example, if you sit too close to the speakers at a concert, neglect to wear ear plugs while shooting firearms, listen to music too loud in your headphones, or work in a noisy environment, you risk damaging your inner ear. Common signs of temporary hearing loss after exposure to loud music often results ringing in the ears - a condition referred medically to as tinnitus.
You can prevent temporary hearing loss due to loud noises by being vigilant about wearing earplugs in loud working environments or during loud extracurricular activities, choosing seats away from speakers at concerts, and turning down the music in your headphones.
- Accumulation of earwax: Though earwax is the body’s natural way of protecting the ear canal, there are times when this production of wax can get impacted or stuck in the ear canal. This blockage can often be so thick that it can prevent sound waves from traveling through the ear canal to the eardrum, enabling the eardrum to function properly and thus negatively affecting the hearing.
When this buildup occurs, the easiest way to restore hearing to normal is to visit your local healthcare provider, who can quickly and easily flush or remove the wax from your ear. You can also attempt at-home methods and remedies.
- Middle ear infections: Temporary hearing loss is also a common side effect that accompanies middle ear infections, when bacteria invades the area behind the eardrum and causes an infection. Because the middle ear connects with the back of the throat, severe ear infections can often occur as a result of a cold virus, when phlegm invades the passageway between the ear and the throat can affects the ear drum’s ability to hear.
The best way to prevent this from happening or resolve the issue, is to visit the doctor and start a dose of antibiotics. These medical professionals can also prescribe ear drops to help clear the passageway or use a different technique to help remove fluid buildup.