Hurting Your Head Can Damage Your Hearing
Brain injuries often cause some hearing impairment, but hearing loss isn’t always considered when a brain injury has occurred, which can lead to further complications. Read on to find out why hearing loss should never be overlooked when a potential brain injury may be present.
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a blast, fall or direct blow, resulting in any structural or physiological change to the brain. The most common symptoms of a brain injury are:
Memory loss Feeling confused or disoriented Losing consciousness Weakness Loss of balance Trouble seeing
Hearing Loss ComplicatesTraumatic Brain Injury
Events that cause brain injuries are often severe, leaving people with multiple injuries, and complicating the diagnosis and treatment of a traumatic brain injury. When a traumatic brain injuryis suspected, the most common concerns are cognitive impairment, visible wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder. Hearing and balance issues are only considered later, if ever. Undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to confusion, and may be misdiagnosed as a different injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Can Affect The Ears And The Brain
People with a traumatic brain injuryusually suffer damage to the inner ear or temporal lobe. But a traumatic brain injurycan also change the way the brain processes sound, even if the ear itself isn’t damaged. A traumatic brain injurycombined with hearing loss leads to several challenges when caring for someone with the injury:
He aring loss, and the confusion and disorientation that results from the condition, can be mistaken for other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive disorders or other mental health issues Hearing loss can exaggerate the social and emotional effects of a brain injury Undiagnosed hearing loss can delay or obstruct proper medical care and rehabilitation
Mild Brain Injuries Can Still Cause Hearing Loss
A traumatic brain injurydoes not have to be severe to lead to hearing loss. Someone with a traumatic brain injurythat only causes them to lose consciousness for a minute or two – or not lose consciousness at all – may still deal with changes to their hearing. And hearing loss will further amplify the symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury, including:
H eadache Confusion Dizziness Blurred vision Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears) Changes in behavior
See An Experienced Audiologist
Treatment for a traumatic brain injuryshould always include the care of an experienced audiologist. Proper testing and diagnosis of any hearing loss, and the appropriate tools to treat any hearing impairment, leads to better diagnosis and treatment of other traumatic brain injury symptoms. Untreated hearing loss can confuse the injury, but is easily diagnosed and treated when a person is aware that it may be present.