The body goes through many changes when you’re feeling under the weather. While each person varies in what symptoms they encounter while suffering from the common cold or flu, some may also experience temporary hearing loss. This big question many people who experience this have, is why? Why does it happen? Why are my ears being affected by something that doesn’t have to do with my ears at all?
The common cold and flu can cause numerous symptoms, one primarily being congestion. Congestion can cause your sinuses to become irritated and inflamed through fluid build up, which can cause hearing to become more difficult. Fluid build up can happen in the middle ear, which is the part of the ear that has the tiny bones that transmit sound vibrations into the inner ear. When the middle ear consists of fluid build up, sound vibrations become harder to move throughout the ear and this is called conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is typically temporary and your hearing should return back to normal within a few days or weeks.
There are a few steps you can take to help temporary hearing loss due to illness.
1. Washing your hands often to prevent sickness
2. Drinking lots fluids
3. Adequate amounts of rest
4. Taking a decongestant to help with fluid build up
With flu and cold season on the rise, staying on top of your health is crucial. Experiencing hearing loss throughout the duration of your sickness is normal, and usually temporary. Watching your symptoms is extremely important, if your hearing loss doesn’t seem to be improving make an appointment with your doctor to make sure nothing more serious is happening. Any changes that happen with your hearing should always be communicated with your audiologist. If you or a loved one hasn’t been hearing as well as you used to, we ask that you schedule an appointment with our audiologists today to ensure there isn’t any permanent damage occurring.