Why Did You Suddenly Lose Hearing?

Many people slowly lose their hearing as they age. But waking up one day and finding that your hearing has suddenly diminished is a more scary experience. You can't recall hearing any super-loud noises or injuring yourself in a way that would result in serious hearing loss, so what's the issue? Sudden hearing loss can occur for many reasons, which include the following.

1. Sinus Congestion

The simplest reason why your hearing may be suffering is sinus congestion. If you have a bad cold, allergies, or a sinus infection, your sinuses could be packed with sticky mucus. When there is no empty space in your sinuses, sound cannot properly reverberate through these spaces, so you are left with hearing that seems muffled and distant. Try taking some sinus medication and sitting in a steam shower; these methods help relieve congestion. When the congestion dissipates, your hearing should come back.

2. Neurological Diseases

Another possibility is that you are developing a neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis. These diseases don't always affect the nerves that reach to the ears, but sometimes they do. Sudden hearing loss could be the first sign of the disease, but if you think about it, you may have other mild symptoms, too. These could include things like tinging in the extremities, clumsiness, and more frequent headaches. Your doctor can test for most common neurological diseases quickly and easily. If this is the case of your hearing loss, you probably won't recover the hearing ability that you have already lost -- but there are ways to keep the hearing loss from getting worse.

3. Drug Side Effects

Some drugs have the unfortunate side effect of causing damage to the inner ear, which results in hearing loss that you may suddenly notice. If you are taking loop diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, or an antibiotic, talk to your doctor immediately as the hearing loss may be a side effect of your medication. Unless the medication is necessary for life, stop taking it until you get feedback from your doctor.

4. A Tumor

You may also have a tumor that is pressing on one of your aural nerves, which connects the ear to your brain. The only way to know is to have a brain scan conducted, so your doctor will usually rule out all other possible causes of hearing loss before searching for a tumor. If you do have a tumor and it is operable, you can expect to cover some or all of your hearing once it is removed.

Reach out to a medical office like Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat, PC immediately if you experience sudden hearing loss for any reason other than sinus congestion. Your health cannot wait!