Hearing loss has a number of causes. Fortunately for some, certain causes lead to only temporary hearing loss, though others may result in hearing loss that is permanent. Understanding which causes lead to which outcomes can ensure you seek help in a timely manner.
Earwax, also called cerumen, is a naturally occurring substance. It is produced by the glands and hair follicles within your inner ear. Yellow in color, this waxy substance goes through a natural cycle, moving its way through your ear until it falls out on its own.
Earwax is important as it protects and moisturizes the skin of your ear canal, preventing your ear from becoming dry or itchy. It contains chemicals that can fight off infections and also acts as a shield, preventing unwanted debris from entering the ear.
However, if you produce too much earwax or it builds up, it can block the ear canal. This can make you feel like your ear is plugged up, as well as cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
Fortunately, these symptoms go away once the earwax has been removed. This can be done at home by cleaning your ear with warm water, or by your doctor at their office. Never try to remove earwax by placing an object like a cotton swab into the ear. This can push the earwax deeper into the ear or damage the eardrum.
An infection in your ear is often the result of infection somewhere else in the body, such as a common cold. While most often diagnosed in children, people of all ages can experience an ear infection.
Ear infection symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Trouble hearing
Children may also have a fever, headache, trouble sleeping and loss of appetite.
Most ear infections will clear up on their own, but you should still seek medical attention, as you may require a course of antibiotics.
For most, once their ear infection is resolved, hearing will return.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Exposure to loud sounds over a period of time can damage the fine hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for sending sound information to the brain.
When damaged, these hair cells do not regenerate. This means that once you experience noise damage, your hearing loss is permanent.
Just because your hearing loss is permanent does not mean there are no options. Hearing aids are the most popular form of treatment and work for a wide range of types and degrees of hearing loss. To learn more, contact the experts at CENTA Medical Group today.