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Q. I fell and landed on the right side of my head. How did it cause hearing loss in the left ear?

Answered by
Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 05, 2020

I suffered a traumatic brain injury (close head skull fracture), falling from a height of 15ish feet and landing on the right side of my head. It resulted in some hearing loss (sensorineural & conducive on right; strictly sensorineural on the left) and caused tinnitus in both ears. When there was no direct impact on the left, what caused the sensorineural hearing loss?

Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Hi! Thanks for briefing about the problem in concern.

You would have probably developed a temporal bone fracture due to the fall. Temporal bone fractures are divided into longitudinal and transverse (an old classification) or otic capsule sparing /involving ( new classification).

The reason for the sensorineural loss in the left side could be due to transmitted trauma fracture line involving the left otic capsule. A mixed hearing loss in the right ear could be due to hemotympanum ( collection of blood in the middle ear) causing conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss could be due to the transverse fracture involving the left otic capsule.

The hearing does improve but it takes months or sometimes years and usually the hearing is never normal. Tinnitus does persisit for life in most cases due to underlying sensorineural deficit. You might also observe transient vertigo in one particular posture and this could be due to a condition what we call post traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

You might require rehabilitation exercises and few medications to bring down those attacks if any. Hemotympanum wilk take atleaat 2 to 3 months to completely get absorbed and with that, your conductive component should improve with time to come. I hope this answers your query. If there is anything more that you need to enquire , kindly let us know and we will get back to you ASAP.

Warm regards

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