Blunt-Force Trauma — Not Just Loud Noise — Can Cause Hearing Loss and Tinnitus, Too

September usually means a handful of things: Summer’s almost gone, the kids are going back to school, the holidays will be upon us before we know it (how many holiday shopping commercials have you seen already?), and football is finally back. The return of football means many of us won’t leave our couches on Sundays — but it also means more discussion about just how dangerous the sport is.

According to ear surgeon John Leonetti, a Loyola University Medical Center doctor, retired NFL players may be at risk for more than just the effects of concussions, broken bones, and torn ligaments. According to Leonetti, they may also be at risk for permanent hearing loss and tinnitus due to repeated brain trauma.

Leonetti says there are two possible mechanisms by which repeated blows to the head could cause hearing damage: A heavy blow to …

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Common Dizziness Complaints

The room is spinning.  When I roll over in bed I get dizzy.  When I look up in the shower to rinse my hair, I almost fall down.  I’ve tried not to move because I’m afraid I will get dizzy.

These are common complaints we hear in the office when someone has BPPV.  BPPV, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is the most common cause of veritgo.  Inside the vestibular organ (balance organ) are otoconia (tiny calcium carbonate crystals) that shift when we move.  Normally, the shift of the otoconia sends a signal to the brain that we are moving and the eyes respond accordingly to our movement.  BPPV occurs when the otoconia fall out of place and move through the fluid filled canals of the vestibular system, tricking the vestibular system to think it’s moving.  During this event, the eyes will actually rotate making the patient perceive that the room is …

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