Hearing loss can be sudden or gradual and can be caused by infection, trauma, changes in atmospheric pressure, earwax buildup or impaction.
Two types of hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss: passage of sound waves in impeded in the external or middle ear. This can be due to:
a. Earwax buildup
b. Middle ear infection
d. Excessive rigidity of the tiny bones in the middle ear that convey information to the inner ear
Sensorineural Hearing loss: damage to the structures of the middle ear
a. damage to the 8th cranial nerve or the acoustic nerve
b. can be present from birth or can be caused by certain drugs, illnesses, exposure to loud noises, smoking or trauma
Infection or inflammation after a respiratory tract infection
Trauma (often from cotton swabs)
Microorganisms from swimming or bathing
Hearing loss with ear pain may be associated with:
1. Eardrum damage
2. strain or perforation
3. an infected cyst in the eardrum or middle ear
Tinnitus is the continuous buzzing or ringing in the ears with no obvious cause. It may occur by itself or as a symptom of another issue/
Otitis media or middle ear infection is the most common cause for hearing loss for children. Otitis media is usually a temporary issue but chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage.
Hearing loss in babies can be detected by:
A failure to startle or blink at loud noises
Failure to babble, coo, squeel, monotonal babbling
Ability to sleep through loud noises consistently
Toddlers: failure to speak clearly by age two
Showing no interest in being read to
Habitual yelling & shrieking when playing or communicating
Suggestions for helping ear issues:
Coenzyme Q10: 30 mg. daily. Powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity and increases circulation to the ears.
Manganese: 10 mg. daily
Essential fatty acids to reduce earwax buildup
Vit E: 600 IU daily, antioxodant, increase circulation
Vit D: 400 IU daily
Zinc lozenges 50mg daily: quickens immune response
Echinacea helps poor equilibrium and reduces congestion as well as helping the body to fight infection.
Eucalyptus, hyssop, mullein and thyme have decongestant properties, which may alleviate ringing in the ears.
Gingko biloba helps reduce dizziness and increase blood flow to the head.
Mullein oil can be used as ear drops to help soothe infection.
Eat fresh pineapple to reduce inflammation. Include garlic, kelp and sea vegetables to your diet.
For ear wax buildup:
Use 1 part vinegar and one part warm water, place a dropper full in the ear and let it settle then drain. You can also use hydrogen peroxide. Repeat in the other ear and do 2-3x a day. If the wax is hard apply warm garlic oil to the ears instead for a few days. Make sure to flush out the ear with warm water.
For ear infection use a few drops of warm garlic oil to the ear.
Any hearing loss that does not resolve on its own in two weeks should be evaluated by an ENT.