The Brain Impacts Everything
Hearing loss can be the result of genetics, dangerously loud sounds, and ototoxic (poisonous to the ear) drugs and medication. However, hearing loss can also result from a brain injury. While this may not be directly related to you, it is good to know for loved ones who have a brain injury or damage who may not be able to realize or even speak up about their hearing loss. A brain injury is defined as “any injury to the brain that affects a person physically, emotionally, or behaviorally. Brain injuries can happen at birth or may arise from trauma or an illness. Depending on the cause, a brain injury is called either traumatic or non-traumatic” (shepherd.org). A brain injury can cause damage to the auditory pathway which runs along the outer ear and auditory cortex in the brain. Along with hearing loss, other issues that could arise due to this are dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus. The hearing loss can be temporary or permanent; it depends on the severity of the injury and lifestyle factors pertaining to the individual it happens to. Dizziness is the second most common symptom that occurs with it occurring in 40- 60% of these individuals. Some types of damage that can occur includes “a ruptured eardrum, damage to the small bones (malleus, incus, and stapes) of the middle ear, damage to the tissues and membranes of the inner ear, and disruption of blood flow to the cochlear nerve”While an individual going through this can get help through aural rehabilitation, the first step to have a full evaluation done. The results can potentially include medical management, hearing aids, or auditory processing therapy (brainline.org). While the hearing loss may not be the main point of concern when dealing with a brain injury, it is still an important quality of life that can be maintained if caught early enough.