Brain Injury Symptoms
The past couple of years have seen a rise in the number of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) news reports. Driven by their prevalence in both professional and junior-league sports, TBI and CTE (a degenerative brain disease in those with a history of repetitive brain trauma) have become almost commonplace.
TBI symptoms can be moderate or severe, and include everything from problems with attention, concentration, and vision to “difficulties with interpretation of touch, temperature, [and] movement.” Brain injuries can also affect hearing.
Though hearing difficulties after a head injury are not a given (and can’t be relied on to definitively diagnose TBI), any occurrence or increase in hearing loss should be noted and treated. TBI hearing loss can affect the outer, middle, or inner ears, and range in length (short vs. long term) and severity. Tinnitus sometimes results, as does hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound), or Meniere’s syndrome (an incurable and “excessive pressure in the chambers of the inner ear”).
Hearing Loss Treatment
Treatment of hearing loss concurrent with that of brain injuries can be tough, as symptoms can overlap. According to the Hearing Review, these symptoms can be “mistaken for PTSD, mental health issues, and cognitive deficits.” If serious enough, long-term management may include hearing aids or auditory processing therapy.
If you notice any instance of hearing loss, you should always check with your primary care physician, who will refer you to an audiologist. With their help, you can come up with a plan to help manage your loss.
If you suffer any blow to the head, or play regular contact sports, its always a good idea to talk with your doctor, as well — even if you don’t have any symptoms.