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Why Does My Hearing Go In and Out?

Why Does My Hearing Go In and Out

Have you ever woken up in the morning and found that you can’t hear temporarily? Or have you been going about your day, and lose hearing in one ear for a matter of minutes? This is what hearing experts call sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) or sudden deafness. Although SSHL may be referred to as sudden deafness, the majority of the time your hearing will return to normal within a couple of weeks as long as you seek medical or expert assistance.

Here at Hearing Group, we know how scary it can be to lose your hearing suddenly. SSHL is a common problem, with 4000 cases of SSHL diagnosed each year. Unfortunately, many people brush off this temporary hearing loss as a sinus infection which can stop them from getting the treatment they need. If you find yourself wondering, “why does my hearing go in and out?”, make sure you get the help you need.

Symptoms of SSHL

SSHL typically affects just one ear, although hearing loss in both ears isn’t uncommon. You will most likely find that you experience this hearing loss after using the phone, headphones, or directly after waking up. Look out for the following symptoms as they can indicate that you are experiencing SSHL:

  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty hearing conversations
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds.

Causes of SSHL

SSHL generally occurs by either blocking the path between the inner ear and the middle ear, or making it to the middle ear but being unable to continue to the brain. If you are wondering why your hearing keeps going in and out, check out these possible causes of sudden hearing loss and help pinpoint the cause.

Earwax Build-Up

A build-up of earwax in your ear can easily impact your hearing and cause it to go in and out. If you believe you could have an earwax build-up, it is important not to clean your ears by sticking something in them, as this can cause more damage than good. Instead, you should see your doctor or hearing specialist and get them inspected.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are caused by fluid build-up in the middle ear. If you consistently suffer from ear infections, you are at risk of developing SSHL. However, this form of SSHL is usually very treatable, and your hearing should make a full recovery.

Head Trauma

Head injuries can be a common cause of hearing loss and damage. If your auditory system sustains damage after a car crash or a blow to the head, you may find yourself suffering from SSHL.

Damage to the inner ear and the cochlea often leads to SSHL, whereas damage to the outer or middle ear usually results in conductive hearing loss. Both forms of hearing loss will usually go away within a few months. However, in severe cases, the hearing loss may be permanent.

Loud Noise Exposure

Immediate exposure to incredibly loud noises or exposure over a prolonged period can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This hearing loss occurs by damaging the nerve cells in the inner ear, which convert sound into signals and are then sent to the brain. This form of hearing loss can be both permanent and temporary.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Have you heard of the eustachian tube before? This tube connects the middle ear with the back of the nose and works by helping restore equilibrium during pressure changes. However, if this tube becomes blocked, it can lead to a condition called ear barotrauma. If your eustachian tube isn’t working properly or it is blocked, it can affect your hearing and even lead to hearing loss.


Some types of medication, including aspirin, are known as ototoxic medications, which have been linked with tinnitus and even hearing loss. This form of hearing loss is generally temporary, but it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you notice a change.

Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss

Changes to your hearing shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly. If you have had to ask yourself, “why does my hearing go in and out?”, then it is time to take action. Hearing health plays an important role in your quality of life, which is why our hearing experts put your hearing above everything else. Our local hearing aid centers are located throughout Oklahoma and Kansas, meaning that help is never far away.

Look after your hearing health with Hearing Group and book your hearing appointment today.