Did you hear about the perils of sudden hearing loss?
Lance Allred, who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and 2009, was the first deaf NBA player. Hearing impaired since birth, he was able to excel in high school and college ball, become a pro and, after he retired, an in-demand motivational speaker. But many folks don't have years to learn to manage their hearing challenges; instead, they're surprised in their 50s or 60s by sudden hearing loss. Too many fail to act quickly enough to prevent it from becoming permanent.
What's called sensorineural hearing loss is a type of nerve deafness that affects at least 60,000 people in the U.S. annually. Researchers think it may be triggered by a viral infection, immune system dysfunction, blocked blood flow to the ear or an inflammatory injury. According to Dr. Steven Rauch from Harvard's Massachusetts Eye and Ear, you may notice a "pop" or feel like one ear is blocked up. Then he says, there "is a gradual decline over several minutes or even hours, like air leaking from a tire."
Unfortunately, many people ignore the problem. But there's only a window of 10-14 days before it becomes permanent. Prompt treatment with oral and/or injected corticosteroids is effective if the symptoms are mild.
So, if you have sudden hearing loss in one ear, set up an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist to rule out a more benign cause like excess earwax. Then if needed, get treatment that will let you enjoy all sports broadcasts when they're up and running!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.