Temporary hearing loss is a loss of hearing that happens only for a short period. More often than not, when the initial cause of the hearing loss is treated, your hearing will return to normal.
What causes temporary hearing loss?
While hearing loss often occurs gradually over time, there are a number of different issues that can cause temporary or short-term hearing problems (also called a temporary threshold shift):
- Swimmer’s ear: if you’ve been swimming recently, you might be suffering from swimmer’s ear, an ear infection that causes pain and itching in the outer ear canal, as well as temporary hearing loss.
Medications: certain medications, such as malaria treatments and aspirin, can cause temporary hearing loss, so you may need to change your medications to correct the issue. Remember, always speak to your doctor or a medical professional before you stop taking any prescribed medications.
Tinnitus: tinnitus symptoms, such as a ringing or humming in the ear, can sometimes cause a temporary loss of hearing.
Noise-induced: if you’ve been exposed to a sudden loud noise, such as an explosion, temporary hearing loss is quite common. Normally, noise-induced hearing loss corrects itself within a few hours, but prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause permanent damage.
How long does temporary hearing loss last?
The length of your hearing loss depends entirely on what’s causing it, but it can last for anything from a few hours to several days. If your temporary hearing loss was caused by a condition such as an infection, you’ll need to first treat the issue to improve your hearing.
The most important thing is that you don’t leave it too long, so if you are suffering from hearing loss, visit a hearing specialist as soon as possible to address the issue before your hearing deteriorates further.