There are many sports that kids and adults all over the U.S. are actively engaged in; football, baseball, basketball, competitive shooting, swimming, boxing, wrestling, martial arts, and so much more. With kids being back at school, more and more of them will become more active in their sports, and adults will likely continue their preferred hobbies. When it comes to contact sports, there is always a risk of injury and it’s fairly standard to be aware of the risks in playing a contact sport, however, one thing that people should really focus on is hearing loss. Especially in extreme physical sports like football or hockey, hearing loss in contact sports is more common than you may think. A hit to the head could permanently damage the various parts of the ear, even with the right protective equipment. To help build more awareness, we at ENT Specialists would like to further discuss the correlation with hearing loss and contact sports.
Concussion & Hardened Cauliflower Ear
Understanding what athletes, no matter their age, are getting into and how they can do their best to prevent hearing loss is vital. In contact sports such as hockey, football, boxing, and martial arts, concussions are fairly common, however, few recognize what that has to do with their ears. Damage to the inner ear or even parts of the brain that have to do with registering and recognizing the sound can happen from the impact of the concussion. Cauliflower ear, another condition that is more common among the wrestling and boxing sports is a cosmetic issue that develops from the consistent trauma to the head and ear has not been treated in the right amount of time. Where people believe the extent is cosmetic, it can significantly impact the hearing as well.
Other Sports Activities that Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Tinnitus symptoms such as constant roaring, ringing, or clicking sound (which can prevent people from living out their daily lives) and others, concussions which damage the brain, as well as meningitis among other things can all lead to hearing loss. There are issues that lead to hearing loss from swimming and diving sports as well. An obvious problem is swimmer’s ear. A less obvious issue is barotrauma, a condition dealing in changes in pressure which are mostly seen in divers whose bodies don’t equalize with ocean depth.
How to Avoid Hearing Loss when Playing Sports
Where these issues can put many people off doing the sports they love, they do not have to go to such extremes. There are many preventative measures athletes can take to help them avoid hearing loss while enjoying participating in the contact sports they enjoy. Pre-assessment test by ENT Specialists to better prevent future injuries is an excellent step to help educate athletes on concussions.
Ear Education, Hearing Tests, Hearing Aids & More
If you experience a concussion or similar injury takes place, make an appointment with ENT Specialists to diagnose any hearing related injuries and prescribe proper treatments. Also, by wearing proper protective equipment, athletes can offer more protection. For instance, shooters should invest in maximum hearing protection to prevent residual damage and hearing loss. To help you avoid hearing loss while you are active in your contact sports, be sure to routinely schedule a hearing checkup and see us immediately after any injuries!