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Hearing Loss

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When to Call a Doctor

Call911or other emergency services immediately if:

  • Hearing loss occurs with an injury to the head or ear.
  • Hearing loss occurs suddenly with other symptoms such as:
    • Facial droop.
    • Numbness or paralysis on all or one side of the face or body.
    • Eye or vision problems, including blurred or double vision or only being able to see out of one eye.
    • Slurred speech, not being able to speak, or difficulty understanding speech.
    • Difficulty standing or walking (ataxia).
    • Severe nausea or vomiting.

Call a doctor immediately if you:

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  • Develop sudden, severe hearing loss.

Call your doctor if you:

  • Have hearing loss that you think may be caused by earwax.
  • Have hearing loss after taking medicine.
  • Have hearing loss after having cold or flu symptoms.
  • Have hearing loss after traveling on an airplane.
  • Feel your hearing is gradually getting worse.
  • Wonder if you need hearing aids.
  • Think your baby or child may not be hearing well.

If you think you have a hearing problem, you might choose to see an audiologist.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is when you and your doctor watch symptoms to see if the health problem improves on its own. Although hearing loss is not usually dangerous, it can affect your personal safety. It can also reduce how much you can do in the workplace and at home and limit you socially. It is important that you talk to your doctor about hearing loss.

Who to see

Hearing loss can be diagnosed by:

If your doctor suspects or diagnoses hearing loss, he or she may have you see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) or an audiologist.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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