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2 Surprising Causes Of Hearing Loss And What To Do About Them

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Many people assume that they'll know the reason they lose their hearing, such as old age or an extremely loud sound. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are some temporary and very surprising causes that could be the culprit of your hearing loss. Here are two of them:

1. Clogged Ears.

Ear wax build-up is probably one of the most commonly overlooked causes of temporary hearing loss. Build-up can create a blockage within the canal, which restricts sound transmission. While ear wax is beneficial in that it helps to keep bacteria and dust from entering into the ear and causing damage, some people have glands that produce more-than-average amounts of wax. This can very easily harden, resulting in blockage of the ear. Even worse, some people try to clean the wax out themselves, often pushing the wash deeper into their ear. This can sometimes cause you to think that you have lost your hearing, but it is only temporary and there are several treatments.

To remedy this problem, you can perform a couple of treatments at home. You can choose to use commercial ear drops or some baby oil in your ear to soften the ear wax. You could opt to do a process called irrigation. This requires water (body temperature) in a syringe. You will keep your head upright and pull the outside of your ear upward. You can then use a syringe to send some water into the ear canal. You can tip your head so that the water drains. This process may be repeated until your ear doesn't feel clogged.

When you have trouble removing the ear wax yourself or you feel extreme discomfort, contact an ear professional.

2. Pain Relievers.

Whether it is a headache, knee pain or a back ache, you probably take some type of over-the-counter pain medication. Unfortunately, you could be causing more harm than good in the long run. According to one study, you may be increasing your risk of developing hearing loss later in life. The study examined women's use of acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin.

Although there was no evidence that suggested aspirin affected hearing, ibuprofen and acetaminophen both increased a woman's risk of losing her hearing. Women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen two to three days out of the week had a 13 and 11 percent increased chance of losing their hearing compared to those who used it less than once a week. For women who took the ibuprofen or acetaminophen four to five days out of the week, they saw a 21 percent increased risk.

With that being said, if you need to take pain medication on a regular basis, you may want to consult with your doctor about less damaging alternatives, such as aspirin. Contact a Hearing Health Clinic for more information. 

Causes of Hearing Loss Aren't Always Temporary

It is important to keep in mind that while the aforementioned causes of hearing loss are surprising and clogged ears are usually temporary, this isn't always the case. There are permanent causes of hearing loss, so if you don't see an improvement in your hearing after self-treatment, make sure you consult with an ear doctor. If you have lost your hearing, there are options, such as hearing aids, to get you hearing again.