Hearing Loss after an Auto Collision

Hearing loss is typically thought of as a degenerative condition. People who have spent a lot of time in a loud environment, or those who are simply aging, may not be surprised to find their hearing deteriorating. However, it is not always gradual. Hearing loss can occur suddenly following a traumatic injury, such as that which may be suffered during an auto collision.

Hearing Loss

Auto Collisions are known to cause countless types of personal injury.  Hearing loss may occur either as a result of one of those injuries or due to the deployment of an air bag.

Why Hearing Loss May Occur after an Auto Collision

Hearing loss may not immediately come to mind when most people think of potential damages of an auto collision but it is not as uncommon as a person might think. There are two key components of an auto collision that may result in hearing loss. The first is a blow or injury to the head and the second is the deployment of an airbag.

• Hearing loss from a head injury: During an auto collision it is possible that the head will slam into the steering wheel, windshield, or other part of the vehicle. This can lead to a head injury that may vary in severity. Whether injury is minor or major, the ear may be affected. Head injuries may lead to hearing loss for victims which may include a dislocation or fracture of the middle ear bones, a fracture of the cochlea in the inner ear, a hole in the inner ear, a fracture of the temporal bone, or inner ear bleeding.

• Airbag deployment: Studies indicate that over 15% of drivers involved in an accident where an airbag is employed will suffer from some degree of permanent hearing loss.  When an airbag explodes, it can create a sound pressure level that is greater than 170 decibels. This loud explosion can cause sudden, severe, and permanent hearing loss.  It can also cause as a disturbance of the equilibrium.

Whether due to a head injury or airbag deployment, an auto collision may result in muffled hearing and difficulty distinguishing voices, especially in a noisy environment. In addition, victims may experience an itchy, burning, or painful sensation in the ear, dizziness, or ringing in the ears.

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician’s advice. Please always consult your physician for your medical needs.

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