Will I Have Permanent Hearing Loss After I Get An Ear Infection
What is usually referred to as an ear infection, is medically called otitis media or AOM. Ear infections are very prevalent after a sinus infection or cold and they not only affect children but adults as well. You can even get an ear infection from a bad tooth.
When you have an infection in the middle ear you will most likely have at least some loss of hearing, but will it go away? The answer to this question might be more challenging than you may think. There are quite a few variables to consider. You should learn how the damage caused by ear infections can end up affecting your hearing.
Hearing Loss& Sinuses: The Sinus
A sinus infection is certainly no fun. You may have a sore throat and fever, stuffed-up nasal passages, facial tenderness, and an unbearable pain behind your eyes, cheeks and forehead. These are all symptoms commonly associated with sinus infections . But theres another, slightly-less-common complaint associated with sinus infections: You may also be having trouble hearing.
But how, exactly, could a sinus infection lead to hearing loss?
First, its helpful to explain what a sinus infection is. Simply put, a sinus infection is a swelling, or inflammation, of the para-nasal sinuses known as the sinus cavity. These are the hollow spaces located in the bones, near the nose and between the eyes. When the sinuses become inflamed, the glands in the sinus start secreting more mucus than normal, blocking the nasal passageways and preventing the mucus from draining out of the sinus cavities like it should. A sinus infection may be brought on by an allergic reaction or a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. In some cases, tooth extraction or certain dental procedures may also lead to sinusitis.
The good news is that in most cases this type of hearing loss is temporary: Once the sinus infection is cleared up and the fluids drain away from the nasal passages and the Eustachian tube, typically hearing is restored. However, if the sinus infection is chronic and left untreated, that can lead to other complications such as an ear infection.
Real People, Real Results
Stuffiness Ear Discomfort And Sinus Pain
Get moisture. Use a nasal saline spray several times a day, or hold a warm, moist washcloth to your face. This can ease the pressure and pain.
Humidifiers will also help keep your sinuses from drying out. Or you can sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running for 15 minutes to curb pain.
Try a . Over-the-counter tablets or nasal sprays can ease sinus blockage which in turn can relieve clogged ears. But donât use nasal decongestant sprays for more than 3 days, or you will reboundÃ¢Â¦ meaning the more you use it the more you need it because youÃ¢re congested.
Avoid extreme temperatures. They can make sinus-related ear problems worse. If your ears bother you, it isnÃ¢t the time to go jogging on a hot day or build a snow fort with the kids.
Keep your head up. If you bend forward with your head down, it can make the pressure worse. YouÃ¢ll want to skip yoga class until the sinus problem is over.
Blow your nose gently. Block one nostril while you blow through the other.
Drink plenty of fluids. Down lots of water in the evening. When you stay hydrated, it keeps nasal mucus thin. That helps it drain and means less nighttime stuffiness.
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What Can The Er Do For Tooth Pain
Finding an emergency room with a dentist on staff or on call is extremely rare. Emergency room doctors cant do much more than provide antibiotics and/or painkillers. This may provide temporary relief, but toothaches, like most problems, dont fix themselves. You will still need to see a dentist to fix the problem.
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Allergy And Hearing Aids
In addition to causing you some discomfort, allergens can also clog the microphone ports in your hearing aids, affecting the way your hearing aids function. You can replace the covers of microphone ports easily. Of course, regular cleaning of your hearing aid is always advisable, especially during allergy season.
Some people seem to experience an allergic reaction to their hearing aids. If this is the case, be sure to talk to your hearing health professional. The allergy may be caused by poor fit, moisture in the ear, wax accumulation, dry skin or an allergy to the earmold material. Many hearing aid manufacturers have options for people with sensitive ears such as hypoallergenic shell materials or coatings that provide relief.
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Can Sinusitis Cause Pressure In Ear
Those who suffer from sinusitis often experience earache, caused by blockage of the eustachian tube, which increases the feeling of pressure in the ears. To relieve the pain, you can:
- apply a warm compress to the nose and forehead
- use a saline nasal spray a couple of times a day
- avoid extreme temperatures, excessive heat or cold
- drink plenty of water and hot drinks
- inhale natural steam
- avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco products.
Can A Deviated Septum Cause Swimmers Ear
No, deviated septum does not cause swimmers ear.
Swimmers ear is an external or outer ear canal infection . This infection is five times more common in swimmers than non-swimmers, hence called swimmers ear. Presence of any inflammation of the outer ear canal, such as infections, allergies, or skin conditions, can lead to swimmers ear.
It is higher in swimmers because of exposure to water with high microbial activity. This water may enter the ear canal and multiply if the skin of the ear canal is damaged.
Initial symptoms include itching and soreness inside the ear which may soon turn painful and swollen. Medical attention is required in cases of ear canal infection.Michael B. Strauss, Wendy Groner-Strauss & Robert W. Cantrell Swimmers Ear, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 7:6, 101-105
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What Are The Treatment Options
If you are experiencing hearing loss, you should see an ENT specialist who can make the correct diagnosis. This is important because the treatment for hearing loss depends on the cause. Once a diagnosis is made, your physician will be able to talk to you about all treatment options. A critical part of the evaluation will be a hearing test performed by an audiologist to determine the severity of your hearing loss, as well as whether it is conductive, sensorineural, or a combination of both.
Your ENT specialist may recommend specific treatment options based on the results of your hearing test, or other potential tests such as a CT or MRI imaging scan. Treatment options can include:
- Continuing observation with repeated hearing tests
- Medical therapycorticosteroids may be used to reduce cochlear hair cell swelling and inflammation after exposure to loud noises diuretics may be used for Ménières disease
- Low-sodium diet
- Evaluation and fitting of a hearing aid or other assistive listening devices
- Preferential seating in class for school children
- Surgery to correct the cause of the hearing loss
- Surgery to implant a hearing device
SNHL can be treated with the use of conventional hearing aids or an implantable hearing device. Again, your ENT specialist and/or audiologist can help you decide which device may work best for you depending on your hearing test results and your lifestyle.
Sinus Pressure And Eye Pain
The sinuses are located all throughout our face in the cheeks, near the ear, behind the eye, and in the forehead and nose. Infected sinuses dont drain properly. The mucous and debris that build up can cause a feeling of pressure and pain. If the infection is in the ethmoid sinuses the pressure can cause pain that radiates to the eyes.
Infection in the frontal sinuses causes a headache that can feel like it is coming from the eyes. Doctors often recommend decongestants to promote drainage and this reduces the pressure. The reduced pressure eases the pain in the area of the eyes.
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How To Avoid Toothache
Follow these tips to avoid toothache:
- Dont brush overzealously
All of us are aware that excess of everything is bad. Yet, we forget this universal truth when were brushing our teeth in the hope of getting that eye-catching smile.
While it may give us sparkling teeth, overzealous brushing may also wear down tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. Thats why we suggest our readers use an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor.
- Give up the habit of tooth grinding
Do you ever wake up with a headache for no reason? Find yourself clicking in your jay every time you open your mouth? Both of these are signs that you grind your teeth. Heres why you shouldnt.
Aside from causing misalignment of teeth, teeth grinding can also result in the deterioration of enamel thereby exposing you to toothache when hearing high-frequency sounds.
- Use an alcohol-based mouthwash
The build-up of plaque and gingivitis in your mouth can also cause toothache in the long run. Both these substances grow in silence until the damage theyve done results in extreme pain.
Thats why we recommend that you use an alcohol-based mouthwash on a daily basis. Not only will it keep both these substances at bay. But it will also give you a fresh breath.
- Visit a dentist
If you continue to experience toothache even after acting on the abovementioned tips, your problem may be more severe and might require a trip to the dentist.
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How Can Upper Respiratory Infections Affect Tinnitus
Tinnitus is ringing in the ears. It can cause muffled hearing and sometimes pressure in the ear. This can lead to pain and discomfort. This condition has many causes, including upper respiratory infections. Treating the causes of tinnitus will cause the symptoms to go away. This is vital to protect your hearing.
You dont often think of your nasal passages and ears connecting to each other. When you have a cold or respiratory infection, it can feel like your head is swelling. You might even feel like your head is in a fishbowl. This is due to pressure in your sinuses.
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Can A Sinus Infection Cause Hearing Loss
The last thing you want to be asking yourself on top of When is this sinus infection going to end? is, Can a sinus infection cause hearing loss? But if thats the situation you find yourself in, you want answers, and quick.
So: Can a sinus infection cause hearing loss? In short, yes. But how? What does sinus infection hearing loss look like? How is it best treated? Sinus Solutions of South Florida is here to address these questions in-depth. In the process, we hope to help you identify a pathway to better hearing, better sinus health, and better everyday living.
Psst If youre wondering if you have sinusitis, a sinus infection, or a cold, check out this article on the difference between sinusitis and a cold.
Can Sinusitis Lead To Hearing Loss
Hearing problems related to sinusitis depend on the presence and propagation of the ear infection. As excess fluid pours into the eustachian tube, and swells, pressure in the eardrum also increases, causing hearing loss and the common feeling of plugged ears. However, this condition is not permanent and as the infection heals, the hearing problem also disappears.
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How Do Allergies Or Sinus Issues Affect My Hearing
Outer ear: Allergic reactions can cause itching and swelling of both the outer ear and ear canal. Some individuals may be allergic to skin reactants like laundry detergent, pets, fragrances or earrings. Others may experience symptoms because of airborne allergies that cause outer ear inflammation such as hay, pollen, mold or dust. Swelling of the outer ear can make it difficult for sounds to make it to your middle and inner ear.
Middle ear: The Eustachian tube is located in your middle ear, so if swelling occurs here from allergies or infection, it is very difficult for fluid in your ears to drain properly. This can cause fluid buildup and a feeling of unwanted pressure, which gives you the feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear and also creates a breeding ground for bacteria. It also means the sounds coming into your ear are becoming muffled and lost, not clearly traveling to your inner ear. Problems with the middle ear can also affect our equilibrium, so balance problems such as vertigo can occur if inflamed.
Inner ear: People with specific inner ear issues such as Ménières disease can be particularly affected by hearing loss due to allergies or sinus infection.
Can I Get Tinnitus From A Blocked Sinus
Tinnitus is a form of hearing loss that can be due to a sinus infection. Tinnitus will cause ringing in the ear that can be disruptive to your daily functions. When you become congested, the tissues in your sinuses become inflamed. The inflammation and swelling creates pressure. This will block the airways in your ear, which will cause the ringing in your ears. The tinnitus may go away after your sinus infection has healed. Some people report having this form of hearing loss long after the initial infection.
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How To Treat Allergy
Remember Never attempt to scratch an ear itch by putting something inside your ear canal such as a hair pin or cotton swab. Instead, if you experience itchiness the best way to treat it is to wipe your outer ear gently with a warm, damp washcloth and dry it thoroughly.
A specialized Ear Nose and Throat doctor will be able to diagnose whether your hearing issues are being caused by allergies. If this is the case, there are several different ways to treat the root allergies causing ear issues. You will likely conduct an allergy test, either in the office or at home, to determine your specific allergies. The suggested treatment from your doctor will depend on the type and severity of your allergies.
Over the counter antihistamines can counteract the bodys reaction to an allergen and relieve symptoms temporarily, reducing swelling and potentially alleviating hearing loss for a short time. This can be an effective approach for seasonal or temporary allergies but requires taking oral pills every day and can lose its effectiveness over time.
Allergy Drops or Shots
What Can You Do To Prevent This Permanent Hearing Loss
First and foremost, see a doctor if you think you have an ear infection. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Second, dont ignore chronic ear infections. The more serious infections you have, the more damage they cause. Finally, take steps to prevent colds, allergies and sinus infections because that is where ear infections usually start. If you are a smoker, now is the time to stop, too, because smoking increases your risk of having chronic respiratory problems.
If youve had an ear infection and still are having problems hearing, see your doctor. It is possible you have some damage, but that is not the only thing that causes conductive hearing loss. If it turns out it is permanent, hearing aids will help you hear once again.
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This Permanent Damage Can Be Avoided
If you believe that you may have an ear infection, see a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you get treatment, the better. If you have chronic ear infections, dont ignore them. The more severe the infections you have, the more harm they will cause. Ear infections normally begin with allergies, sinus infections, and colds so take measures to prevent them. If you are a smoker, now is the right time to quit, too, because smoking increases your risk of having chronic respiratory problems.
If you are still having trouble hearing after getting an ear infection, consult a doctor. There are other things which can cause conductive hearing loss, but you may have some damage. If you find out that its permanent, hearing aids can help you hear again. You can schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to get more information about hearing aids.
How To Unclog The Ear From A Sinus Infection
Sinus induced hearing loss is often cured once the infection is gone. But, some people will suffer from permanent hearing loss. This is especially true if the infection is severe or left untreated. There are some treatment options available. One of these procedures is a balloon sinuplasty. This will help to unblock the ears, giving you some relief from your hearing loss. There are also some medications that may help reduce the ringing in the ears. This can help if you suffer from tinnitus after a sinus infection.
If the hearing loss is permanent, you may have to look into getting hearing aids. While many people do not like the idea of getting hearing aids, they have come a long way. Hearing aids of today are small and discreet. They also work very well. They use back-up technology that you can add on your phone.
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Hearing Aids Or Masking Devices
Other treatments include therapies, like Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and cognitive therapy, dental treatment, cochlear implants, and natural/herbal remedies
You can also take steps to prevent tinnitus by avoiding loud noises and protect your hearing at all times.
If youre fed up with the noise in your ear and are desperate for relief, look no further than Dr. Gergits and the team at Sinus & Allergy Wellness. Their expertise and dedication to your care will bring you comfort, normalcy, and peace once again. or schedule an appointment online.