Temporary Hearing Loss

After exposure to loud noise you may find that your hearing seems dull and you may also experience a sensation of ringing in your ears - a condition called tinnitus.  Usually, your hearing will recover and the ringing will stop -  this normally happens within 24-48 hours.  However, this temporary hearing loss and ringing in your ears are signs that you have exposed your ears to levels of sound that are too high, and that you may have done some damage to the tiny sensory cells in your cochlea (inner ear).  If you frequently expose yourself to loud noise in this way, the dullness of hearing and tinnitus can become permanent.  This is why it is important to take steps to protect your hearing in noisy environments.

Some types of medication can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus, which may be permanent or temporary.  Such drugs are referred to as being ototoxic.  Some of these are powerful medications used to treat certain life-threatening conditions, but even some 'over the counter' medications such as aspirin can cause temporary tinnitus in some people. 

Temporary (conductive) hearing loss is also associated with problems in the outer and middle ear, such as infection, 'glue ear', excessive wax and perforation of the eardrum