The Link Between Concussions and Hearing Loss
Contact sports, car crashes and falls are the leading causes of concussions in Thousand Oaks, California. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration to the head. Headaches, dizziness, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, fatigue and vomiting are common symptoms of this brain injury.
While hearing loss is also a common side effect of brain injuries, it is often left off the list of symptoms. The force required to cause a concussion can also cause damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear or fracture bones in the inner ear and cochlea. It can also cause an injury to specific parts of the brain that are responsible for processing sound.
After a concussion, immediate medical attention is required. The following tests are typically performed:
- Neurological evaluations, which are used to measure your sensory and motor responses. This includes your vision, hearing, balance and coordination.
- Cognitive tests, which are used to evaluate your ability to think.
- Imaging tests, such as cranial computerized tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which are used to confirm if the concussion caused any physical injuries or bleeding inside the skull.
An observation is also ordered for at least 24 hours after the event. This may be performed in a hospital setting or in your own home. The observation is important to make sure your symptoms do not get any worse.
The most common treatment for a concussion is rest. It is especially important to avoid physical activity, particularly anything that could cause additional head injuries. While rest will help with most symptoms, those who are suffering from hearing loss will need additional treatment.
In order to figure out the right treatment for your type of hearing loss, your Thousand Oaks audiologist will need to complete a series of tests, such as pure-tone and speech testing, in order to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. The most common treatment for hearing loss is the use of a hearing aid. There are a number of different models and styles of hearing aids, but with your Thousand Oaks audiologist by your side the whole process seems much less daunting.
If you think you may have untreated hearing loss after a concussion, contact your local audiologist immediately.