More frequently than we would like to admit, in our modern day society, we put off on health care.
Think about people who ignore their own health care so they can get protection for their children. What about professionals who can’t fit in a doctor’s appointment because they are to busy going to meetings. Then there are those who live by an “ignorance is bliss” attitude and avoid the doctor’s office for fear of what they might hear.
But what would you do if you needed more than simply your annual preventive flu shot or something to ward off a sinus infection? If you woke up one day and had complete hearing loss in one or both ears what would you do then?
If your answer is to just wait it out until your hearing comes back, there’s a good chance it never will. Hearing experts caution that sudden, temporary hearing loss might progress to permanent hearing loss without immediate treatment, particularly if the damage is at the nerve level.
Sudden Hearing Loss, What is it?
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only about half the individuals who experience sudden hearing loss–the rapid loss of 30 decibels or more of hearing ability–will regain some or all of their hearing naturally.
Sudden hearing loss is more likely to happen than is commonly recognized. As a matter of fact for every 5,000 people, between one and six are estimated to experience sudden hearing loss. But according to the NIDC, if undiagnosed claims were taken into consideration, that number would be significantly higher. This means that this year around 400,000 Americans or more could experience sudden loss of hearing.
Sudden hearing loss can actually occur over a few hours or days so the term is somewhat of a misconception.
What is The Cause of Sudden Hearing Loss?
Due to the fact that the onset can occur over hours or days, doctors are usually not able to discover what causes most cases. The sad truth is that only around 10 percent of people diagnosed with sudden hearing loss have a cause that can be determined. exposure to certain drugs, blood pressure problems, neurological disorders, infections, disorders of the inner ear and head trauma are some of the most common causes that hearing specialist can pinpoint.
Your best possibility of recovering at least some of your regular hearing function, as mentioned, is to get treatment right away.
Sudden Hearing Loss; How do You Treat it?
In the majority of cases, especially those where the cause is not known, the usual course of treatment consists of corticosteroids. As with all steroid usage, the objective is to minimize inflammation and decrease swelling.
The recommended means of treatment has changed since researchers have carried out more studies on sudden hearing loss and medicine has advanced. Pill form is how these steroids were classically prescribed, but for individuals who were leery of the side effects of medication or were not able to take oral steroids, this offered a challenge.
A 2011 clinical trial established by the NIDCD revealed that an injection of steroids through the eardrum was just as effective as oral steroids, even making it possible for the medication to flow right into the inner ear, without the drawback of the oral alternatives. Ear, nose and throat specialist around the country routinely give these injections in the office.
A group of tests that could diagnose the root issue causing your sudden hearing loss can be arranged by your doctor and that’s another reason why seeking immediate medical attention is essential. These tests could include blood-work, an MRI or other techniques for imaging and even an examination of your ability to balance.
We May be Getting Close to New Treatment For Sudden Hearing Loss
Given the lack of definite information about the cause of sudden loss of hearing, continuing research goes deeper into what could be the culprit. New advancements with infusing drugs into tiny microspheres would offer a new technique of administering the steroids in what might be a safer way.
Researchers have shown that even though they may not have all the answers about sudden hearing loss, your chances of getting your hearing back is increased by seeking early treatment. Make an appointment with a hearing specialist if you are experiencing hearing loss of any type.