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Hearing Tests

How Do I Know If My Hearing Loss is Permanent or Temporary?

Suddenly realizing that you're unable to hear certain conversations or sounds can be highly disturbing. The first question that many people have is whether or not their hearing loss is permanent. Understanding the source of your hearing loss will have a significant impact on determining whether or not it's permanent.

Temporary Hearing Loss

Most audiologists agree that everyone deals with temporary hearing loss throughout their lifetime at one point or another. Temporary hearing loss tends to come on suddenly or over a period of a few short days. You'll likely only experience this problem in one ear. Common symptoms include muffled sounds, difficulty hearing high-pitched noises, balance issues, and tinnitus.

Temporary hearing loss can be caused by several different issues, including:

  • Ear infections
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Illnesses
  • Loud noise trauma
  • Obstructions

When you first notice symptoms of temporary hearing loss, it's best to get your hearing evaluated by a licensed audiologist. They can perform a number of tests to evaluate your hearing. These include pure tone audiometry, tuning fork tests, auditory brain stem response tests, bone conduction tests, whispered speech tests, speech reception, and word recognition tests.

Many of these tests are done to rule out permanent hearing loss and identify the source of your temporary hearing loss. Once discovered, your audiologist will work with your physician to remedy the source of your temporary hearing loss so that you can regain your hearing in its entirety.

Permanent Hearing Loss

Contrary to popular belief, permanent hearing loss can affect adults and children. This type of hearing loss is typically congenital or develops over the years. Permanent hearing loss is generally described as having four different levels. These include mild, moderate, severe, and profound hearing loss.

There are various causes of permanent hearing loss, which include:

  • Advanced aging
  • Noise
  • Illness
  • Medication
  • Trauma

If you've noticed a decrease in your hearing ability, it's time to seek help from a licensed specialist. They will perform several different hearing tests to evaluate the severity of your hearing loss. Some of these tests include automated otoacoustic emissions, automated auditory brainstem response, pure tone audiometry, and bone conduction tests.

In cases of permanent hearing loss, an audiologist will recommend treatment based on your specific condition. The most common treatment options include hearing aids and sound amplification technologies.

Taking an Online Hearing Screening

Taking the first step to seek help from an audiologist can be scary. Fortunately, you can enjoy taking our online hearing screening that can help to provide some insight into your hearing loss severity. Many times, taking this first step can allow you the confidence that you need to schedule an appointment with an audiologist.

Call Us Today

If you're experiencing hearing loss, then it's time to give us a call at Beltone South. Let our hearing specialists evaluate your hearing and provide you with a thorough treatment plan.