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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

Reversible Reasons For Hearing Loss

by Francisco Arnold

If you suffer from hearing loss, your physician may recommend that you visit a hearing aid center to be evaluated by an audiologist. While your hearing loss may be permanent, there may be other factors that cause temporary hearing loss. In both cases, hearing aids can help improve auditory acuity. Here are some reversible reasons for hearing loss and what you can do about them.

Aspirin Use

If you take an occasional aspirin tablet for pain or fever, you probably will not have any adverse hearing effects. If, however, you take aspirin on a daily basis for chronic pain or to reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke, then you may develop a condition known as ototoxicity.

This condition refers to the toxic effects certain medications can have on your ears. Aspirin is known for its potential for causing ototoxicity, which can lead to ringing in the ears (tinnitus), earache, and hearing loss. While hearing loss related to chronic aspirin use can be permanent, it typically resolves once you stop taking the medication.

It you develop hearing loss or ringing in your ears as a result of taking aspirin, you may benefit from hearing aids. The audiologist at the hearing aid center will examine you to determine the best treatment option for your individual situation. 

Chronic Sinus Infections

Eustachian tube dysfunction can be caused by chronic sinus infections and sinusitis. Sinus problems can cause fluid buildup and inflammation of your Eustachian tubes, leading to muffled hearing or even total hearing loss. If you have sinus problems, an over-the-counter decongestant or antihistamine may help improve your hearing, while helping to eliminate inner ear fluid.

Once excess fluid is gone, normal hearing may return. However, if your sinus problems are chronic, you may have permanent scarring or damage to the inner structures of your ear. This may lead to permanent hearing deficits, and because of this, you may benefit from bilateral hearing aids.

In addition to seeing an audiologist to evaluate your hearing status, make an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor, or ENT, who can develop a treatment plan for your chronic sinus infections.

If you develop hearing loss as a result of frequent aspirin use or sinus problems, consider contacting a doctor at a hearing aid center. He or she will perform a comprehensive examination of your outer, middle, and inner ear, and determine if you are a good candidate for hearing aids, antihistamines, or even earwax removal.