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What to Do if You Experience Sudden Hearing Loss?

| February 19, 2021, 11:43 PM

As we get older, our sense of hearing often deteriorates. Even if you’ve only just hit thirty, you might have noticed a difference – especially if you’ve been working with power tools, or attending loud rock concerts every weekend.

But not all forms of hearing loss are the same. If your hearing declines suddenly, without any apparent cause, then you might be suffering from a nerve-related disorder called SHL (or Sensorineural Hearing Loss). This involves damage to the water-filled chambers in your inner ear. It’s these tiny organs which actually convert the vibrations into electrical information that your brain can make sense of.

Why does it happen?

Sudden hearing loss of this kind can occur for a variety of reasons. A lack of blood flow to the organs in question can cause them to break down. The same is true of viral infections and inflammation. As the nerve cells in the cochlea begin to break down, they transmit misinformation (the high-pitched tones we perceive as tinnitus), or no information at all.

In other cases, a sudden loud noise might cause damage to your ear in the form of a ruptured eardrum. The same effect might be achieved by a change in pressure, such as when you travel by airplane, or when you go on a deep-sea dive.

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Symptoms

The most obvious symptom is the one that brought you to this page: a sudden loss of hearing. An inner-ear problem might also cause a loss of balance, as the water-filled chambers of the inner ear are how your body determines which way is up. Sufferers of SHL might also hear a loud ‘pop’ just as their hearing vanishes. You might take a hearing test online if you’re unclear.

The classic test for SHL involves humming. If you hum, and the sound is louder in the affected ear, then it probably means that your ears are simply blocked. The sound from your throat is passing straight up through your skull to reach the nerves, which are transmitting the information to your brain as normal. If you can’t hear anything, however, it would suggest that you have suffered nerve damage.

What to do

When it comes to SHL, every moment counts. If you intervene quickly, the you might get your hearing restored – though the chances of a complete recovery are statistically slim. The treatment involves corticosteroids. The drugs are either administered directly into the ear via injections, or taken orally.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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