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Temporary Hearing Loss Prevention, Recovery, and Treatment

Updated on June 22, 2017

Hearing Loss

On the way home from a night in the club, it can feel like you're hearing the outside world through a set of earplugs. Or after a loud concert, it can feel like bees are humming in your ears. I certainly do, after seeing Iron Maiden.

If, like me, you've experienced either of the above, then you have experienced a temporary form of hearing loss called temporary threshold shift (TTS).

But what exactly is hearing loss? That's what we are going to find out in this atricle, along with finding out its symptoms, how to avoid, and how to cure it.

Hearing loss is caused by the impairment of the passage of sound waves. It can be temporary (like in the above example) or permanent, partial or complete. It's not technically the same as deafness or hearing deficit, since deafness is the inability to hear and mostly occurs before birth or as a result of a major illness or infection.

There are three types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Central hearing loss.

The Anatomy of Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss takes place when there is an obstacle in the external or middle ear preventing the passage of sound waves. The obstacle could be earwax buildup, middle ear infection and inflammation, trauma to the eardrum, Pagets' disease, or arthritis.

This type of hearing loss is usually treatable.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss happens when the pathways or structures of the inner ear are damaged. It may result from damage to the acoustic nerve, which carries information from the inner ear to the brain, or from damage to tiny cells called hair-cells in the inner ear, which translate sound waves into nerve impulses, for transmission to the brain. If they die, they're unable to repair themselves the way the other cells of the body do. The resulting hearing loss -- is permanent.

This type of hearing loss can be present from birth or can develop. Causes include: certain medications like antibiotics, NSAIDs, quinine, and even aspirin! It can also be caused by a viral infection in the inner ear.

Sensorineural hearing loss affects the acuity and clarity of hearing. Initially its noticed at higher pitches and then as it increases, at lower pitches, where speech is heard.

Sensorineural hearing loss affects the acuity and clarity of hearing. Higher pitches are the first to be damaged; as damage increases, the lower pitches, where speech is heard, can be affected.

This type of hearing loss is not treatable — so be very careful around loud noises!

Hearing aids can help people with sensorineural damage, regain speech recognition.

Central Hearing Loss

Central hearing loss is very rare. And is usually due to extreme brain damage. In this case, there is no problem with the ear; the problem resides in the Primary Auditory Cortex of the brain.

Causes of Hearing Loss

This may develop over a period of days, weeks, or years.

Causes include:

  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Changes in atmospheric pressure
  • Earwax buildup or impaction
  • Improper use of cotton swabs
  • Bathing/swimming in water that is extra chlorinated or contains high levels of bacteria/fungi, which can lead to an ear infection
  • Aging

Loud music and sounds are the most common causes of hearing loss our society is experiencing today. At first, it causes TTS. But with continued exposure, it can cause a permanent threshold shift (PTS). In this context, a threshold is the volume above which you can hear sounds. If your ear adjusts to continual loud noises, the threshold is raised, so you will not be able to hear sounds you once could.

How to Test Whether You Are Experiencing TTS or PTS

Rub your index finger and thumb together a few inches from your ears, one at a time. If you can hear the sound of them rubbing together, then you probably are not experiencing TTS or PTS.

Otherwise, read on for tips to aid recovery.

How to Prevent Hearing Damage

How to Recover Hearing

The following tips should not be substituted for professional medical treatment. After all, your doctor does know you the best.

Useful herbs that purify the blood and counteract infection:

  • Bayberry
  • Burdock root
  • Goldenseal
  • Hawthorn leaf flower
  • Myrrh gum

Other things that may help include:

  • Eat pineapples to reduce inflammation. Also include a lot of garlic, kelp, and sea veggies in your diet.
  • Reduce and limit your consumption of alcohol and sugar. Minimize your intake of caffeine, chocolate, and sodium.
  • Remove earwax. To do so, use a mixture of one part vinegar and one part warm water. With an eye dropper, place a few drops in your ear, allow them to settle for a minute, then drain. Repeat the process with the other ear. Do this two or three times a day. Do not use cotton swabs to clean the inside of the ear canal, as the swab can push wax further into the ear canal. Another method of removing wax is ear candling, which should only be carried out by a professional.
  • If you are experiencing ear pain, tug on your earlobe! If this makes the ear hurt, you probably have an ear infection and should seek medical treatment. If it does not hurt, the pain may be due to a dental problem. For an ear infection, put two to four drops of warm (not hot) liquid garlic extract in the affected ear. If both ears are affected, do not use the same dropper for both ears, as it may spread infection. This treatment is very helpful for children.
  • When flying, chew gum during the plane's descent to prevent the discomfort and hearing loss associated with atmospheric pressure. Alternitavely, you can pop your ears by holding your nose and gently blowing air through your closed mouth. This clears the eustachian tubes. A decongestant such as pseudoephedrine, found in sudafed and other products, may also be helpful. But remember, these medications are dehydrating (and so is the lack humidity in an airplane cabin). If you use them, be sure to drink plenty of water and juice during the flight and skip the cocktail and coffee, as alcohol and caffeine also are dehydrating.
  • Always wear ear protection such as disposable plugs or a headset when using loud appliances. You will want to do this when using power tools or lawn mowers and when you know you will be exposed to sudden loud noises, such as when shooting a gun.
  • Protect your hearing when listening to music. A general guideline is to keep the volume low enough that you can easily hear the telephone and other sounds over the music.If you are using a personal stereo unit with head phones, you should be the only one able to hear your music. If someane else standing next to you can hear it, it's too loud.
  • Take measures to reduce your cholesterol level. Studies suggest that people with high cholesterol levels have greater hearing loss as they age than people with normal cholesterol levels.


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    • profile image

      Mariusz 22 months ago

      Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is a medical emergency and requires prompt recognition and treatment.

      You can find more medical details in article written by Benjamin P. C. Wei, Dimitra Stathopoulos, Stephen O’Leary. Steroids for Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (Review) Copyright © 2013 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    • profile image

      JackieM 23 months ago

      sensorineural hearing loss can be restored IF (and it's a big if) it's caught in time. If it's caused due to a viral infection is soon as you start to realize you're losing your hearing if you get into an ENT theyll put you on the strongest steroids possible and many people to recover. If you wait for weeks and then you go, hearing loss, more than likely, will be permanent.

    • profile image

      Johnny Shi 2 years ago

      I think it is pretty unfortunate that hearing loss can be permanent. I feel lucky that I have a love for pineapples I didn't know that it know that it could help. It is really cool how connected your diet is to the rest of your body.

    • profile image

      gabhex 2 years ago

      Hello everyone, my name is Gabriel and I am very happy to share my recovery experience here. Two years before, I suffered from “cure in hearing loss” and hyperacusis. I am a music lover and I was usually exposed to loud music. It was last year that my hearing got seriously impaired and thus, I started with my treatment. I received cortisone and few other medications for better blood circulation but this did not help me in any way. While browsing net, I found that wearing hearing aids would help to lessen the annoyance of “cure in hearing loss” ( Therefore I thought of giving it a shot. From then I have been using the earplugs and taking vitamin B12 tablets. Now there is a huge difference and I think I finally got over the “cure in hearing loss” .

      I know a lot of people who suffers from this terrible illness and I hope this will help you to an extend to find an appropriate solution.

    • profile image

      valen 2 years ago


    • profile image

      nikht 2 years ago

      no body and nothing help u, u became deaf , deaf , deaf

    • profile image

      pradip suthar 2 years ago

      My son is having hearing loss by birth, doctors are saying that there is some blockage in ear but some people saying it is complete loss of hearing of the son, somebody said that it is due to at the time of birth problem. now please advise how and what step i can take to recover his hearing loss.

    • profile image

      idowu 3 years ago

      Does Ginkgo biloba helps with hearing loss.

    • profile image

      idowu 3 years ago

      Does Ginkgo biloba helps with hearing loss.

    • profile image

      darshini 4 years ago

      i having 50% hear loss. i will ask repeat when i talk. always am saying them say loudly. i am so fed up with my problem. tell me the treatment cost and solution for this

    • profile image

      mayuri 4 years ago

      i want to cure my hear using hear aid starkey s series i9 cic bt still face lots of prb ..specially while talking on cellphone...

    • profile image

      Cyric Renner 4 years ago

      Stem Cell treatment for loss of hair cells is a reality. So the loss is not permanent (Just for expensive), as this article suggests.

    • profile image

      Joy 4 years ago

      I ma having hearing loss with eardrum holes in both ear. I had once operation but not successful. Can I go for another ear drum (Tympanic) repair operation. Which is best hospital in India and what is the approximate cost.? Can I restore hearing loss. Please help at:

    • profile image

      Robert Hillman 5 years ago

      Let's be honest. Forget these supplements and other hokey remedies. You lost your hearing,you lost your hearing. The only way to get it back is via hearing aids which is never as clear and beautiful as what you were born with or stem cells which seems decades away. I can't figure out why the Lord let birds,for example, be able to regenerate cells in the ear but left human beings high and dry. What a waste.

    • profile image

      annoymus 5 years ago

      can you garuntee all of this willwork?

    • profile image

      natz 5 years ago

      hey i have permanent ear loss. i contact the doctor he suggested that 10lakhs rupees for ear operation.

      what is the solution???

    • profile image

      Narad Mani Tamang 5 years ago

      I like it. please help me to cure it soon

    • profile image

      Boyan 5 years ago

      What about the herbs you mentioned (Bayberry, burdock root, goldenseal, hawthorn leaf and flower and myrrh gum) ?

      What do you have to do with them?

    • profile image

      1969bronco 7 years ago

      It is always important to protect your hearing. Most damage is permanent so I overly use hearing protectors for everything. Earmuffs are cheap and work well.

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