Download Hearing loss could signal other issues by Carey Rivinius, FNP

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Hearing loss could signal other issues
by Carey Rivinius, FNP
Hearing loss can come on suddenly or gradually over time. Sudden hearing loss
should be evaluated by a medical provider immediately. There are numerous potential
causes of hearing loss, including but not limited to: cerumen impaction (ear wax
buildup); ear infection or ear effusion (fluid in the ear); tumor; or acute viral infections
such as an upper respiratory infection; head trauma; and side effects from drugs such
as aspirin, diuretics, chemotherapy or certain antibiotics.
If sudden hearing loss is caught early enough, it can be reversible, depending on the
cause of the hearing loss. Possible treatment may include a course of steroids and
other medications. Further diagnostic testing such as MRI may also be required. It is
crucial to have it evaluated to determine the cause.
Signs of hearing loss include tinnitus (ringing in the ears); fullness or pressure in the
ears; decreased ability to perceive sound - for some it is lower frequency sounds and
others higher frequency sounds such as a female or child’s voice – and difficulty
understanding or deciphering words even though one can hear people speaking. Some
people also experience difficulty with balance and walking and may also have vertigo (a
feeling of dizziness as if the room is spinning).
Any hearing loss, tinnitus, pressure in the ears, or other bothersome abnormalities of
the ear should be evaluated promptly. Generally, one should see a primary care
provider initially. Referral to a specialist, such as an ear, nose and throat doctor, or an
audiologist, may also be necessary.
This information is published for educational and informational purposes only, and is not
intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a health care professional for your specific
health care and/or medical needs or concerns.