Types of Hearing Loss

Temporary Hearing Loss

Temporary hearing loss affects almost everyone at some point.

Causes of temporary hearing loss include:

  • Loud noise or trauma (injury to the inner ear)
  • Ear infection (buildup of fluid in the middle ear).
  • Medications
  • Obstruction (an object or liquid trapped in the ear)
  • Illnesses such as meningitis
  • Allergies (cause inflammation and swelling in ears)

Testing for Hearing Loss

In order to diagnose temporary hearing loss, the audiologist must first eliminate the possibility that it could be permanent.

A number of tests are involved:

  • Whispered speech test
  • Pure tone audiometry
  • Tuning fork tests
  • Speech reception and word recognition tests
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing
  • Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing
  • Bone conduction tests

Also, the doctor will examine your ears for any foreign objects. Imaging tests may be necessary if you have been involved in an accident. All these will point to possible causes for your temporary hearing loss.

Solutions for Temporary Hearing Loss

Your doctor will explain the severity of your condition and offer treatment options. Treatment is as varied as the causes of hearing loss. For example, if an ear infection is causing your hearing loss, antibiotics and perhaps a myringotomy (drainage tube) will relieve your hearing loss. If you experienced trauma and have a burst eardrum, surgical repair of the eardrum will restore your hearing.

However, if the temporary hearing loss is caused by your environment (e.g., loud noises at a factory), you will need to take precautions to protect your ears. Most temporary hearing loss resolves after a few weeks of treatment and/or cautionary measures.

Permanent Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects both adults and children, as well as newborn infants who may suffer from congenital hearing loss. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss ranging from mild, moderate, severe to profound levels.

Temporary hearing loss occurs with an ear infection, excessive ear wax, or exposure to loud noise. However, if hearing is lost and cannot be regained, it is considered permanent hearing loss. Most people are not completely deaf but have lost a level of hearing.

Permanent hearing loss is caused by:

  • Noise
  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Medications
  • Trauma
  • Obstruction
  • Advanced Age

Several audiology (hearing) tests conducted over time will provide a diagnosis of permanent hearing loss. Those tests will also establish the severity of hearing loss

Types of Hearing Tests

Hearing tests include:

  • Automated otoacoustic emissions (AOAE) tests
  • Automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) tests
  • Pure tone audiometry tests
  • Bone conduction tests

These tests will help pinpoint the cause of hearing loss, which will determine the necessary treatment.

Hearing Devices

You have several options in treating permanent hearing loss. These treatments and devices will enhance your hearing – and improve your quality of life – but they can’t replace your lost hearing.

The options include:

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Sound amplification technologies

Every person responds differently to each of these options, so it’s difficult to know which is right for you. Nevertheless, they do offer significant improvement in hearing, and can improve your ability to participate in conversations and live a more normal life. It may be difficult to accept, but permanent hearing loss is just that – permanent. This may be something you must come to terms with. In the long run, patients have found that accepting this reality – and getting the right hearing device – is the best step toward living a safer, more enjoyable life.

You can once again enjoy everyday conversations, including those at special occasions like parties. You will find it much easier to understand what’s being said to you, and will no longer be embarrassed by your inability to hear. Your life will be much safer, too, as you will hear warning sirens, cars and others trying to get your attention. There is no downside to improving your hearing. Today’s hearing devices are so small they’re barely visible!

What’s the Next Step?

After being diagnosed with permanent hearing loss, most patients will need to come in for follow-up checks to see whether the treatments offered are reversing the condition. If not, you will need to start thinking of how to adjust your life to accommodate this new reality. You will want to talk about hearing devices.

Contact our office:

To find out more about temporary and permanent hearing loss services, visit Dr. Schneiderman’s office located at 215 Union Avenue – Suite C, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, or book an appointment by calling us at (908) 725-5050.

Our Location

215 Union Avenue Suite C Bridgewater, NJ 08807 Hours: M-F 9AM-5PM

Phone and Fax

Phone: (908) 725-5050
Fax: (908) 333-4145

About Us

Dr. Todd Schneiderman is a leading otolaryngologist conveniently located in Bridgewater in Somerset County, NJ. His office location is convenient to Somerville, Bedminster, Warren, Manville, Hillsborough, Bound Brook, Green Brook, and Middlesex. The goal of his practice is to provide the highest quality medical care for all ear, nose, and throat (ENT) needs, as well as allergy and audiology services. Contact his knowledgeable staff today.