How Bell’s Palsy Can Affect Your Hearing

How Bell’s Palsy Can Affect Your Hearing

When people think of hearing problems, they often focus on hearing loss. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Audiology experts specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of hearing issues, including misophoniahyperacusis, and tinnitus. They even offer personalized guidance in hearing protection, including assistive earmolds.

Because people can experience so many issues with their hearing, it’s essential to work closely with an expert when you notice changes, especially if you have another health condition. One common example is Bell’s palsy, which can cause uncomfortable hearing issues.

Do you have Bell’s palsy? Here’s how it can affect your hearing and how Kevin Sharim and the Sharp Hearing Care Professionals team can help.

Bell’s palsy basics

Bell’s palsy involves a facial nerve — or seventh cranial nerve — that controls muscles in the face. You have one on each side of your face, but Bell’s palsy typically affects one side.

When you develop Bell’s palsy, this nerve becomes swollen and inflamed, triggering symptoms on the affected side, such as:

However, this nerve does more than control your facial muscles. It also impacts saliva, tears, taste, and a tiny bone in your middle ear. That means you can also experience symptoms related to your sense of taste and your hearing.

How Bell’s palsy affects your hearing

In most cases, Bell’s palsy symptoms develop suddenly and often because of a viral infection. The condition usually doesn’t require treatment and often resolves on its own within a few weeks. However, the hearing issues it can cause, especially tinnitus and hyperacusis, can negatively impact your daily life.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus can vary from person to person, from ringing, roaring, or buzzing sounds to clicking, hissing, and whistling. Some people even experience a pulsating sensation in the ear instead of a specific sound.

When you have tinnitus, these noises or sensations can be soft or loud, and they may be constant or come and go.

Hyperacusis

When you experience hyperacusis, sounds that seem normal to others are unbearably loud to you. This response can make even the softest sounds very irritating or painful. It can even interfere with your ability to sleep, concentrate, or follow conversations.

You can have hyperacusis and tinnitus at the same time.

Treating Bell’s palsy-related hearing issues

While Bell’s palsy often clears up on its own, your doctor may recommend medications like corticosteroids, antivirals, or anti-inflammatory drugs to support your recovery. If you have hearing-related symptoms, our team can help.

After performing a comprehensive audiology consultation, we can make personalized recommendations to ease your symptoms. For example, if you have hyperacusis, we might suggest interventions like customized earmolds to filter out some sounds or sound generators to desensitize your brain and auditory nerves.

Tinnitus can also benefit from sound generators and retraining therapy programs that teach your brain to ignore the sounds in that ear. However, medication can often ease symptoms and help with underlying conditions.

You don’t have to suffer through hearing-related issues if you have Bell’s palsy. Our skilled audiologists can help create a personalized strategy to improve your comfort while you recover.

Have you had changes to your hearing? Contact Sharp Hearing Care Professionals or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Misophonia: Understanding Your Treatment Options

Misophonia: Understanding Your Treatment Options

Living with a hearing disorder like misophonia can seem impossible. It’s even more frustrating learning that there’s no cure. Fortunately, there are management options that can minimize your negative reactions to sounds and make life easier.

When to See a Specialist About Hearing Changes

Hearing changes can come on slowly or in an instant. Either way, you shouldn’t ignore them. If you’ve noticed a difference in how you perceive sound, here’s when it’s time to see a specialist.
Hyperacusis and PTSD: How Are They Linked?

Hyperacusis and PTSD: How Are They Linked?

Sound sensitivities can be challenging to manage. But did you know they often occur with other conditions, including PTSD? If you have PTSD and struggle with certain sounds, here’s what you should know about hyperacusis.

6 Factors That Fuel Tinnitus Symptoms

Do you have a strange buzzing, static, or ringing in your ears? Whether you have mild or severe symptoms, tinnitus can make daily life a struggle. If you have this auditory issue, here are a few things that can exacerbate your symptoms.

What Type of Hearing Aid Is Right for Me?

Congratulations! Taking action to address hearing loss can feel like a big step, and it comes with life-changing results. With so many hearing aids available, you can find the perfect fit for every lifestyle.