When most people think of the words “hearing loss,” they tend to picture a patient who was born without hearing. There are many ways a person may slowly or suddenly lose their ability to hear throughout an entire lifetime, however. Inflammation within the ear canal to lead to serious damage, from ringing (tinnitus) to full blown deafness.
Hearing loss from chronic exposure to loud music or industrial noise is a common occurrence. Sometimes, hearing loss can happen in one massive traumatic event such as an explosion or crash. Acute hearing loss can even be a symptom of a larger health concern. While not all cases of sudden hearing loss go away on their own or with interventions, some cases have been fully reversed.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been studied extensively in cases of sudden sensorineural hearing loss from traumatic blasts experience by military personnel. Results can be varying from patient to patient, however, research and anecdotal reports have shown full recovery for many people. In the case of patients with hearing loss as a result of overlaying disease (chronic infections such as Lyme can be a trigger), reversal has been achieved when the primary condition is treated.