Everywhere we turn at the minute, someone is sniffling, sneezing or coughing but can these symptoms cause a hearing loss?


The 2022/3 Flu Season

Throughout the festive period, almost every person you spoke to was suffering with a persistent cough, fever or a horrible cold. This year’s flu season has started so badly that there was even news reports of flu and cold medicines widely selling out in pharmacies and supermarkets. We are sending our sympathy to anyone currently suffering with a horrible cold or the flu! Today, we want to take a look at if catching the flu can cause you to experience hearing loss…

Many pharmacies and supermarkets have been running low on cold and flu medicine throughout December and January.


Flu Symptoms

I think we can all agree that having the flu is annoying. There is a huge scale of varying symptom levels with the flu; from a runny nose, cough and fever, but it can also affect your senses. Some people lose the ability to smell and even taste. Another sense that can be affected is your hearing. Whilst the majority of people only suffer with temporary hearing loss, it can turn into permanent damage.


Temporary Hearing Loss

When you have a cold or the flu, fluid can build up in your middle ear. This blocks the sound reaching your eardrum. A tube called the Eustachian tube runs from your ears to your nasal cavity and this can become blocked when you’re ill. This temporary form of hearing loss is known as conductive hearing loss. You can rest assured that this form of hearing loss will go away by itself when your cold or flu has passed.


Permanent Hearing Loss

Sometimes cold or the flu can turn into an ear infection. This can affect your hearing and sounds can sound muffled to you. The majority of ear infections are easily treatable with a trip to your GP and probably some antibiotics. If you do have an ear infection, it’s important that you look out for any of the following symptoms and seek medical advice if you do experience any:

  • Dizziness
  • Earache
  • A feeling of pressure in your head
  • Hearing loss or muffled hearing

You should always ensure that you finish a course of antibiotics, even if you believe the infection has cleared up.

If you repeatedly suffer with ear infections or you have one that is left untreated, this can lead to further complications which can include mild hearing loss. If you think you have been suffering with a hearing loss after an ear infection, it’s really important to visit a hearing healthcare professional or your GP to get a hearing test.

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