Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a blast injury
Blast injury is a type of acoustic shock that affects not only your ears but your brain as well. This kind of trauma involves damage to the hair cells in the organs of Corti, which is in the inner ear. Blast injuries are common among military personnel and veterans who were exposed to loud sounds during their time in active duty. When a sound-induced trauma occurs, the person affected feels an increased amount of pressure in the ear. The blast waves that enter the ear may lead to injury and can even result in a hearing loss. If the acoustic pressure exceeds a certain threshold, the ear will not be able to adapt, which can consequently require further medical assistance. Typically, a blast injury is more likely if the sound wave lasts for a short amount of time (about 1-2 minutes).
The following information contains more information about blast injury. You can learn what causes this kind of trauma, how the brain affected, and what the symptoms. You will also learn about the three classifications of a blast injury—primary, secondary, tertiary—and their distinctive characteristics. Additionally, this page explains how a physician diagnosis a blast injury and what treatments are available. Of course, if you need more information, or would like more resources on blast injuries, we are available for a free consultation.
Symptoms of a blast injury
After a blast injury, a patient typically feels as if the injured ear is clogged. Thus, their ability to hear through the affected ear is also reduced. In addition to these symptoms, other a blast injury patient may experience tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hyperacusis (auditory hypersensitivity), vertigo, and/or balance disturbances. Blast injury usually occurs in only one ear, and in most cases, the symptoms will go away on their own in just a few days.
Generally, the symptoms of a blast injury do not progress further, worsening with time. In fact, the opposite is true: time is the best medicine for those who have gone through a traumatic situation with their hearing.
Blast injury and hearing aids
As a rule, a lasting blast injury can lead to hearing damage in the upper frequency range. This can be troublesome to the affected person in louder surroundings. With a permanent blast injury, a hearing aid usually helps the patient to perceive higher sounds again.
How hearing aids help with a blast injury…
- A continuous blast injury usually leads to hearing loss in the high frequency range, which can be remedied effectively with hearing aids.
- The higher tones that are hard to hear can be perceived again.
- Hearing aids significantly improve hearing after a blast injury, especially in setting where there is a lot of loud noise.
- Improved quality of life.