Can the Flu Affect Your Hearing?

One of everyone’s least favorite time of the year is coming; cold and flu season. The most common symptoms of a cold or the flu are familiar to most everyone. We all know and dread the fever, congestion, and miserable feelings; however, you may not know is that the flu can also affect your hearing. The good news is the hearing loss as a result of the flu is usually temporary but it helps to understand why the flu can cause hearing loss and what you can do about it.

Why Does the Flu Cause Hearing Loss?

The congestion and pressure buildup relating to symptoms of the flu can also affect your hearing. In fact, temporary hearing loss when you are sick can be a pretty common occurrence. When congestion fills the middle ear, it inhibits sound waves from travelling through the ear, which is one way that hearing is affected. A second thing that happens during the flu to affect hearing is the eustachian tubes in the back of your throat can get blocked. This prevents the tubes from regulating the air pressure in the middle ear. Both of these problems can make it difficult to hear clearly because sounds become muffled. In addition to hearing loss, these symptoms of the flu can also cause balance issues or tinnitus.

It is important to note that while hearing loss during the flu is usually temporary, on some rare occasions it can cause permanent damage if the nerves in the ear are affected. If you are experiencing hearing loss that has not gone away with the other symptoms associated with the flu, be sure to contact your audiologist or hearing care professional to schedule an appointment.

How to Prevent the Flu from Causing Hearing Loss

The best way to prevent the flu from causing hearing loss is (of course) not getting sick in the first place. Sometimes the flu is unavoidable though, and you should know how to minimize the chances of the flu affecting your hearing. Here are 6 ways to protect yourself and your hearing from the flu:

  1. Take vitamin C and boost your immune system with a healthy diet.
  2. Wash your hands often.
  3. Avoid exposure to those who are sick.
  4. If you do get the flu, ask your doctor to be tested to see if an antiviral prescription can help.
  5. Take a decongestant to help reduce the buildup of mucus and congestion.

Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center

Have questions about your hearing or hearing aids? We are here to help! Please contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Ohio hearing center locations: Bowling Green, Toledo, or Wauseon. The experts at Kenwood Hearing Center are here for you to help you with not only hearing loss, but your overall hearing health.

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