Reviewed by Dr. Porter on November 17, 2020
Hearing loss, deafness, or hearing impairment is the partial or total inability to hear. It can happen in one or both ears. While it is commonly regarded as a degenerative condition caused by extensive exposure to loud environments or aging, it can also result from a traumatic incident like a car accident.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident recently and have noticed physical discomfort and an unusual symptom like a ringing ear or auditory loss, you likely got it from the accident. The best and only way to know is consulting a physician who will perform a diagnostic hearing test to evaluate your auditory condition.
How Does Hearing Get Affected After a Bad Car Accident?
Hearing loss is not something that comes into mind when we start evaluating potential damages of car accidents. However, it is not uncommon, as it is mostly connected to the head injury, explosions, or blow to the head. Depending on the fatality of the accident and severity of the injury, auditory loss may not come out as automatic until a full examination is done.
Hearing loss or ear injuries can be caused by a motor vehicle in the following ways.
Ear damage from air bag deployment
Air bags are supposed to save lives, and thankfully maybe it is the reason you are alive after a serious car accident. However, the powerful impact creates an explosive like sound that could damage the ear. This loud sound of airbag deployment can cause ringing noise or pain in your ears. For serious cases, if it hits your head directly, you could suffer broken or damaged ear bones, potentially leading to ear loss.
Hearing loss from a whiplash
Whiplash typically occurs when your neck and head are shaken violently back and forth, causing damage to the soft tissues and muscles around your neck. Whiplash is most common in rear-end collisions. Depending on the level, whiplash can destroy the inner structures of the ears and lead to temporomandibular disorder.
Hearing loss from an impact to the head
If you slam your head on the steering wheel, the windshield, or any other hard material in the car, the impact could break a few bones in your ear, leading to auditory loss. This damage to your auditory pathway can also lead to brain injury. Even the slightest mild head injury can result in the following ear damages:
- Disruption of blood to the cochlea
- Ruptured eardrum
- Damage to the small bones around the middle ear
- Damage to the inner membrane, tissues, and hair cells.
What to do if You Can’t Hear After a Car Accident
Whether it was caused by airbag deployment, head damage or whiplash, loss of hearing or difficulty distinguishing voices in a noisy environment may not happen immediately. If the victim was not seriously injured in the collision, auditory loss symptoms might not show immediately. In most cases, the victim may experience a burning or painful sensation, ringing in the ears, and dizziness.
If you or a loved one suffers from a loss of hearing after a car accident, the first step is to visit an ear expert who will evaluate you and find out exactly where the problem is and find an appropriate auditory aid based on your condition. If you are diagnosed with auditory impairments, you may be eligible for compensation if someone else caused the accident. The compensation should help pay for your treatment and life adjustment.
Not all insurance plans cover the entire cost of auditory devices. If you require surgery, your medical expenses could skyrocket, particularly if you have a higher deductible plan. You also need to find a qualified attorney to help you navigate through the insurance system and ensure that you receive compensation.
While a hearing loss after an accident is usually temporary, it can quickly turn permanent, especially if it is not handled with the urgency it deserves. If it is a permanent condition, surgery may be required, followed by a long-term treatment plan such as auditory devices.
How Long is Hearing Impaired After a Car Accident?
We cannot exactly outline how long it can take for one to recover as it heavily depends on how the accident happened and the impact. Loss of hearing can be a profound condition that can take a toll on mental and social health. It can also lead to major life changes such as lost wages or loss of income if the victim must be admitted.
Treating patients with an accident-related auditory loss can be an extensive and exhausting process that requires the skills and expertise of audiologists and other qualified medical professionals. In most cases, it may take longer than expected. If the condition is permanent, the patient may need to use their auditory aids and be prevented from working until you are well-versed with coping with hearing loss.
If you think your auditory problem is related to a car accident you were involved in, don’t sink into depression, there are lawyers and doctors who can help you get the proper treatment and compensation that you deserve.
Do You Need Help with Your Hearing after a Car Accident?
If you have recently been in a car accident, and are suffering from hearing loss, you should not wait to get treatment. Call us today to schedule an appointment, and we can determine the level of hearing loss, and help return you to your level of hearing.
Categorised in: Hearing Loss