We’ve long known that a concussion can cause a wide range of physical, neurological, cognitive and emotional symptoms. Now some researchers are focusing their efforts on studying the potential effects of a concussion on a person’s hearing.
Specifically, they’ve found that a concussion can hamper a person’s ability to process auditory information – for example, understand someone who is speaking in a noisy room. Sometimes it’s referred to as “speech-in-noise.” This is bad news for anybody who suffers a concussion in a car wreck.
Sound processing issues can happen to anyone
The effects on hearing are typically greater among those who suffered their concussion while serving in the military – particularly if the incident that caused the head involved an explosion of a bomb or other device. However, studies have been done on athletes who have suffered concussions as well.
One neurobiology professor estimates that as many as 20% of people who suffer a concussion are left with difficulty processing sound. She says, “Making sense of sound is one of the hardest jobs that we ask our brains to do. So you can imagine that a concussion, getting hit in the head, really does disrupt sound processing.” In addition to having problems recognizing speech amid loud noise, another hearing problem associated with concussions is unusual sensitivity to loud noise.
While most concussions heal on their own eventually, a serious concussion can leave a person with lingering issues that can affect their ability to work, go to school or take care of their families. If you’ve suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car crash, it’s crucial not to accept a settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries and their long-term financial impact.