If you suffer from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, then you probably already deal with pain in one or both sides of your jaw. This pain may get worse when it's colder outside, and it may even cause you to occasionally develop headaches or migraines. However, what some people who have a TMJ disorder don't realize is that it can also lead to hearing loss. This hearing loss is usually temporary, but can become permanent in rare cases.
What Causes TMJ-Related Hearing Loss?
You may not think that having a TMJ disorder of the jaw could possibly affect your hearing, but it can and often does. That's because when the TMJ becomes inflamed, this can cause a blockage in the ear. Usually, the hearing loss is at its worst during times when the joint becomes most inflamed, which is typically during times of high barometric pressure when temperatures fluctuate.
How Can TMJ-Related Hearing Loss Be Treated?
Fortunately, if you suffer from a TMJ disorder and have been experiencing hearing loss, it will likely go away on its own. However, it will also be likely to come back the next time there are significant changes in barometric pressure in your area. In the meantime, dealing with the hearing loss can be very uncomfortable and downright frustrating.
The best way to treat the hearing loss associated with TMJ disorder is to treat the TMJ problem itself. The proper course of treatment will need to be decided by a doctor or orthodontist who specializes in TMJ. Depending on the severity, simple mouth exercises may help you ease your TMJ symptoms and help you to avoid hearing loss. In some cases, an injection may be necessary to help cut down on the inflammation, along with medications. In severe cases, your doctor may even recommend that you undergo TMJ surgery.
In the meantime, however, you may be able to cut down on TMJ pain and associated hearing loss by simply keeping your jaw area warm. This may mean wearing a scarf, applying a heat pad to the affected area, and keeping your thermostat turned up in your home.
Dealing with hearing loss as a result of TMJ can be a real hassle. However, by treating the TMJ itself, you can get the relief you need and may also be able to prevent long-term hearing loss in the process. Just be sure to see a doctor to find out which treatment option is right for you. Visit http://www.HearDenver.org for more information about hearing loss.