Hearing loss is an alarming condition that can severely impact a person’s lifestyle. It can affect a person’s hearing in various degrees and can be caused by several reasons. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most severe cases of hearing loss, that is, sudden hearing loss. Unlike other cases of hearing loss, sudden hearing loss can develop pretty quickly and cause substantial damage if not treated immediately. Stay tuned for further information about sudden hearing loss, like what causes it and how to fight against it.
As the name suggests, sudden hearing loss can occur all of a sudden or can be developed within three days to a few hours. However, the exact reason for sudden hearing loss is still a mystery. The impact of sudden hearing loss can range from mild to severe depending on other health conditions. Additionally, if it’s not treated right away, it can potentially become a permanent condition. Often sudden hearing loss can present itself with tinnitus. If you are faced with this problem, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If the symptoms are lasting for a certain time, consider getting a hearing aid to get effective relief.
Cause of Sudden Hearing Loss
As mentioned earlier, the exact reason for sudden hearing loss is still unknown. However, the lack of activity in the inner ear is observed when sudden hearing loss occurs. Therefore, the researchers have developed certain theories that can cause sudden hearing loss. They are:
- Stress in workplace
- Viral infections
- Arteriosclerosis and subsequent circulatory disorder
- Metabolic disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
- A ruptured oval or round window
- Cervical spine injury
- Elevated platelet
- Occlusion of the inner ear’s vessels
- Autoimmune diseases
- Previous acute otitis media
These are the underlying causes that are said to cause sudden hearing loss. However, further research is being conducted to find out the actual cause behind this serious medical condition.
Types of Sudden Hearing Loss
The researchers have differentiated sudden hearing loss into two types, they are:
- Sudden idiopathic hearing loss: This is the most common type of sudden hearing loss. In such cases, the exact reason behind the hearing loss is often unknown, and even extensive examination cannot determine the cause.
- Stress-related hearing loss: Stress can be a trigger for sudden hearing loss. It affects the activity in the inner ear, which blocks the sound signals to reach the brain. Reducing stress levels can help a person to cope up with demanding situations better. Regular exercise is an amazing way to regulate stress levels.
Symptoms of Sudden Hearing Loss
The symptoms of sudden hearing loss can occur at once or within a few days. It is commonly seen to occur in one ear, often associated with ear pressure and/or tinnitus. Sudden hearing loss can vary in severity and, in extreme cases, can lead to deafness. The most common symptoms of sudden hearing loss include:
- Occurrence of hearing loss without a recognizable cause
- The absence of an earache
- Hearing loss in only one ear
Sudden hearing loss can be accompanied by:
- Loss of sensation in the outer ear
- Ear pressure
Sudden loss of hearing can be pretty harmful to a person’s health and lead to further complicacy. Therefore, a swift treatment can go a long way in helping the person to lead a healthy lifestyle. Over the years, doctors have formed several methods in treating sudden hearing loss. They are:
- Circulation-enhancing medications: It is often seen that, in case of sudden hearing loss, the blood circulation in the inner ear is significantly reduced. When the blood circulation is reduced, the sensory hair cells in the inner ear don’t get enough nutrients and are damaged permanently. Therefore, circulation-enhancing medications can help with sudden hearing loss effectively.
- Hearing aids: Sudden hearing loss causes permanent damage to the sensory cells in the inner ear. Additionally, it can also cause tinnitus in the ear. A hearing aid can help significantly in such cases. With the help of the hearing loss, the noise in the ear caused by tinnitus is canceled, and the patient can hear the sounds again.
- Cleansing blood with dialysis in severe cases: When the hearing loss is severe, dialysis is performed to cleanse the blood of coagulation-promoting substances. This procedure can dramatically improve blood flow and circulation, which can significantly improve the impact of sudden hearing loss.
- Controlling obesity and\or diabetes: Sudden hearing loss can be an impact of long-lasting health hazards. Therefore, treating arteriosclerosis like building up of fats, cholesterol in and or artery walls are very important in such cases. Additionally, bringing a change in lifestyle, like losing weight, adjusting the blood sugar to an optimum level, along with avoiding nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, has proved effective significantly.
Sudden hearing loss not only impacts one’s hearing but also opens the door for certain health complications in the future. Therefore, immediate treatment is always recommended to be able to lead a healthy life. Your hearing helps you perform well in your daily life, and when it is faced with challenges, you cannot lead your usual lifestyle effectively. So, take care of your hearing health before it undergoes any complications.