A blow, cut, or other trauma to the ear or ear
canal. This may cause bleeding and infection, which can result in temporary
hearing loss. A trauma may also damage the inner ear or cochlea, which can
result in permanent hearing loss.
Strenuous coughing, sneezing, or
nose-blowing, or a strenuous bowel movement.
A sudden, dramatic
change in air pressure, such as occurs in scuba diving or air travel. This may
put too much stress on the eardrum or other middle ear structures, resulting in
bleeding or fluid imbalance in the middle and inner ear. This type of injury is
A blow to the head. A blow may change the
position (dislocation) of the three bones of the middle ear (ossicle
dislocation), resulting in sound not being sent to the inner ear. A head injury
may also cause a
ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane perforation). Or a
forceful blow to the head may damage the delicate nerves in the cochlea or in
A sudden, extremely loud noise (such as an explosion,
gunshot, or firecracker), which can damage any of the structures in the ear,
causing immediate and permanent hearing loss. This is called acoustic trauma.
Injuries to the ear sometimes heal on their own, and sometimes
surgery can repair the damage. In both cases, your hearing may return. However,
severe injuries may cause permanent damage in your ear, resulting in permanent
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.