Whether you appreciate the sound of your children’s laughter, the beat of your favorite music or the advice of your best friend, you know how important your ears are. If you cannot hear properly, you may have difficulty participating in everyday life. You may also not be able to do your job.
Following a car accident, you are apt to check yourself for visible injuries. Hearing loss, though, may not be readily apparent. As such, if you notice you cannot hear properly, it is vital to seek immediate medical treatment. Nonetheless, you should understand how a car accident may increase your risk of hearing damage.
Regardless of how fast you are traveling, a car accident exposes your body to tremendous forces. If you bump your head on a hard surface inside your vehicle, you may sustain a traumatic brain injury. While TBIs have a variety of symptoms, hearing loss is not uncommon. Additionally, if you have a collision-related TBI, you may experience ringing in your ears or a discharge of fluid from your ear canal.
Even if you do not suffer a TBI in a car accident, your ears may sustain physical damage in a couple of ways. First, a sharp object or blunt-force trauma may injure your outer ear. Because this part of your ear is essential for capturing sound waves, outer ear trauma may affect your ability to hear. Similarly, a car accident may expose your ears to loud noises. The sound from a deploying airbag or crunching metal, for example, may damage your eardrum or other delicate parts of your inner ear.
Both ear injuries and hearing loss can be difficult to treat. While your doctor may recommend surgery, hearing aids or other therapies, your ear troubles may last a lifetime. It is important to watch for the signs of hearing loss and follow your physician’s advice for recovery.