Concussions and Hearing Loss

Contact sports, car crashes and falls have one thing in common – they are the leading cause of concussions in Portland, Oregon. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration to the head. Symptoms involve headaches, dizziness, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, fatigue and vomiting.

concussions and hearing loss

One side effect of a traumatic brain injury that is typically left off the list of symptoms is hearing loss. The force behind a traumatic brain injury can cause damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear or fracture to the inner ear or cochlea. The injury to the brain can also be responsible for the hearing loss if the injury interrupts the method the brain uses to process sound.

A series of tests is typically performed immediately following the concussion. These tests include a neurological evaluation to measure your sensory and motor responses (including your vision, hearing, balance and coordination), cognitive tests to evaluate your ability to think and imaging tests such as a cranial computerized tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to see if there is any physical injury or bleeding inside your skull. The final type of test is simple observation. This is done for at least 24 hours in a hospital setting or at home. Your symptoms must be monitored to make sure they do not get worse.

The most common treatment for a concussion is rest. You will have to avoid physical activity, especially anything that could lead to additional head injuries. While this may treat your other symptoms, hearing loss cannot be cured that easily.

The first step to determining how to treat hearing loss is to schedule an evaluation with an audiologist in Portland. They will complete a series of tests in order to determine the type and degree of the loss. Once they have determined this they will be able to recommend a treatment plan. For most individuals suffering from hearing loss, hearing aids will be the recommended treatment.

Determining the right hearing aid for your type of hearing loss may seem daunting, as there are countless models and levels of technology available. Fortunately, your audiologist will be there with you every step of the way.