Hearing Loss in Contact Sports

If you’re participating in contact sports, whether it’s football or mixed martial arts, then you run the risk that you’ll be injured

Hearing Loss in Contact Sports

If you’re participating in contact sports, whether it’s football or mixed martial arts, then you run the risk that you’ll be injured. Among the more long-lasting and subtle of these injuries are those that affect your hearing. In many cases, it can be difficult to disentangle the causes and effects, and hearing loss is something that can creep in increments over long periods of time.

Hearing Loss from Concussion

Any impact with your skull risks causing a concussion. This is a temporary injury to the brain, whose signs usually appear shortly after the injury. You might experience a strong headache, dizziness and nausea. You might struggle to remember what’s happened, or experience sudden changes in mood.

Among the most commonly-known symptoms of a concussion is a change in vision: you might see double, or you might see ‘stars’. But vision isn’t the only sense that a concussion can affect: your hearing is at risk, too.

Preventing Hearing Loss

Wearing protective headgear will reduce the likelihood of a concussion occurring in the first place, and limit the severity of any concussion you do experience. You might also protect your hearing more generally by wearing earplugs – though given that you might be relying on your hearing to communicate with teammates, and to take cues from your opponents. You might also guard against head injuries by building the stabilising muscles of your neck, and by ensuring that any protective equipment that you are wearing is of an appropriate size. If your head is free to rattle around inside your helmet, then the protection that it offers will be quite limited.

What are the consequences of hearing loss?

Many of those who participate in sports have a blasé attitude toward hearing loss, if they take it seriously at all. This is a misguided way of thinking, as the consequences of hearing loss can be lasting and debilitating.

A loss of hearing can produce a sense of isolation, and reduce your appreciation of music. You might find yourself missing out on conversations, and even becoming an object of discussion if your hearing loss becomes a subtle, noticeable problem for your peer group.

A loss of hearing can also impact your ability to perform in your favourite sports. If you can’t hear what your teammates are shouting at you, then participating as part of a functioning unit is going to be difficult.

But really, hearing loss is a bad thing in and of itself, even if we leave to one side all of the secondary consequences that result from it. If you think that you’re suffering from hearing loss, then you might look for a specialist near you. They’ll be able to assess the extent of the problem, and recommend any necessary interventions.

Updated Date: 14 June 2021, 18:11

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