Concussions and Hearing Loss

The leading causes of concussions in Utah are car crashes, falls and contact sports. This type of traumatic brain injury is caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration to the head. Common symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • temporary loss of consciousness
  • confusion
  • fatigue
  • vomiting

There is one common symptom that is missing from this list. That symptom is hearing loss. A lot of force is required to cause a concussion; this amount of force can also easily damage 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.

What to do after a concussion

If you think you’ve experienced a concussion, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Your St. George doctor will order a series of tests, which include:

  • 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.

Your doctor will put you under observation for at least 24 hours after the event. This can be done in the hospital or in the comfort of your own home, depending on the extent of your other injuries. The reason this is so important? If your symptoms get any worse, it is an indicator of additional brain damage.

Concussion treatments

The most common treatment for a concussion is rest. You will be instructed to avoid physical activities, especially anything that could cause additional head injuries. While rest will help treat most of your concussion symptoms, hearing loss requires additional measures.

The first thing your Advanced Hearing & Balance audiologist will do is order a series of hearing tests. Once your type and degree of hearing loss has been determined, your audiologist will create a customized treatment plan. This plan will more often than not include the use of a hearing aid.

To learn more about how you can improve your hearing after a concussion, contact your Advanced Hearing & Balance audiologist today.

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