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Soccer is coming to an end. Basketball and hockey are picking up speed. NFL and college football are both in full swing. We guess this means summer is behind us.
Additionally, it means a rise in a variety of pickup activities like basketball, flag football, and street hockey, as well as more discussions about concussions in contact sports.
However, hearing loss and tinnitus are two concussion symptoms that don’t receive much attention when playing contact sports, including martial arts leading to cerebral contusions and CTE.
Concussions and Hearing Aids
The design of your hearing system leaves it prone to injury after a concussion, particularly in contact sports. Your brain’s processing center for sound is situated at the ear level on the side of your head. Any tiny bones in your middle or inner ear could be damaged or broken by the type of force needed for a concussion to affect you or a close loved one.
What Happens with a Concussion?
Additionally, doctors agree, compared to your other senses, your ear and brain are connected by the most nerves. A dense net is between your ear, brainstem, midbrain, and cortex. When your head is struck, the force jostles your brain, stretching, shearing, or perhaps killing your nerve fibers. These nerves take quite a beating.
Contact Sport Hearing Injury
Imagine getting hit in the head by a baseball or tackled during the rugby or lacrosse and suddenly being unable to hear or speak properly. In these situations, an injury may damage the nerves that carry sound signals from the inner ear to the brain – affecting one’s hearing health. Similar to the cochlea, which serves as a sound transmitter, a blow might injure it, which is why you must have a doctor diagnose the person immediately. That way, an individual won’t suffer further complications, including meningitis.
Your nervous system has a lot of work to do when processing sound. Additionally, everything moves very quickly—in microseconds. Your hearing can be harmed by a concussion if it damages your nerve fibers or leads to swelling and bruising.
Another common condition, usually associated with boxing and wrestling, is cauliflower ear, a cosmetic issue caused by repeated damage to the head and ear that has not been properly treated in a reasonable timeframe.
There is also the issue of moisture and swimmer’s ear when discussing water sports like swimming or diving. This condition needs instant medical attention to avoid further complications. Barotrauma also affects divers whose bodies don’t equalize with ocean depth.
How Head injuries Affect Hearing
Sports-related concussion patients typically have no trouble hearing background noises but struggle to interpret speech in settings with loud noises, such as a restaurant or a sporting event.
Other Potential Issues Include:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears or constant clicking sound)
- Moderate hearing loss
- Permanent hearing loss
- Sound sensitivity
- A need to pop your ears but being unable to do so
- Problems understanding speech despite passing a hearing test.
Concussion symptoms may emerge immediately following a head injury or may take hours or days to develop. You will often feel better after a few weeks. They typically become better with time.
Each person’s symptoms are unique and might change as they improve. As an example, your initial symptoms might be primarily physical, changing to more emotional ones a week or two after your accident.
Common symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Balance issues
- Facial paralysis
- Hearing impairment
- Brain trauma
- Trouble with thinking or memory
- Mood swings.
Effects of Hearing Loss – Is Hearing Aid Needed?
Hearing loss can affect a sportsman in a variety of ways. Some of them consist of;
Depression and Anxiety
Managing hearing loss can be difficult. Due to their hearing aid use, inability to communicate with friends, and decreased athletic performance, athletes may experience stress.
Life is significantly affected by hearing. Hearing enables us to recognize noises that support the judgment. Due to this, hearing loss or a hearing aid can raise the danger to a person’s safety.
Decreased Athletic Performance
When participating in a game, communication is crucial. When a hearing loss is diagnosed, the affected athlete may find it challenging to communicate with teammates.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss Resulting from Contact Sports
Neurosurgeons advise athletes to practice the following safety precautions to reduce the likelihood of head injuries that could result in hearing loss:
- Use of personal protective equipment that is approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Use of fitting head gears.
- During exercise, players should work on strengthening their neck and head muscles.
The Best Ways to Handle Hearing Loss Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury
A hearing aid is the most common aid for people with moderate hearing loss. Ears can be fitted with hearing aids either inside or outside. In addition to wearing hearing aids, Cochlear implants and brain stem implants are other options for managing hearing loss.
Communication, distress, and isolation problems will all be reduced with early therapy. You will also need to reduce your exposure to loud noises in your environment after therapy and hearing aids. Finding a reputable audiology service provider might be difficult despite medical aid’s value.
If You Suspect a Head Injury
Unfortunately, head injuries and contact sports go hand in hand. Even head protection, such as a helmet or another kind, is limited.
Consult with Your Doctor
Consult a physician as soon as possible if you suspect a concussion has occurred from a head injury or if something might be wrong with your hearing health. A neurological evaluation will be performed on you to determine how your vision, hearing, balance, and coordination are responding. Cognitive tests will also be given to you to ensure your thinking has not been impaired.
Furthermore, imaging tests such as cranial computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging may be performed on you (MRI). These reveal any internal bleeding or physical damage to your skull. Thereafter, more tests will be conducted if you need hearing aids.
Find a reliable audiologist that has a great patient satisfaction turnover for therapy and hearing aids, as well as modern current technology for the best results. We hope this information was helpful. Please stay tuned for more recent posts at icyhealth.com to learn more important educational news about treatment and causes.