The world's #1 website on hearing and hearing loss
Since 1999

Permanent threshold shift

What is a permanent threshold shift? A permanent threshold shift means that we experience a permanent hearing loss.

Permanent threshold shift

Definition of permanent threshold shift

A permanent threshold shift is a permanent shift in the auditory threshold. It may occur suddenly or develop gradually over time. A permanent threshold shift results in permanent hearing loss.

Causes of permanent threshold shift

A permanent threshold shift can be caused by exposure to noise. Another common cause is age. We all lose our hearing as we age and hearing loss is a natural consequence of getting older. A permanent threshold shift may also occur as a result of disease, infection or drugs. It may be inherited or be a result of physical damage to the ears or to the head.

Treatment of permanent threshold shift

If you experience a permanent threshold shift, you should contact your family/doctor or an ENT to get an examination of your ears and your hearing. It is highly recommended having a hearing test taken to measure the level of the threshold shift and to see if you may need hearing aids. The results of a hearing test can be seen on an audiogram.

If you have a permanent threshold shift at a certain level, it is normally best treated with hearing aids.

Sudden hearing loss

A sudden permanent change in the auditory threshold is called a sudden hearing loss. If you experience a sudden hearing loss, you should contact your family doctor/GP as soon as possible.

Temporary threshold shift

The opposite of a permanent threshold shift is a temporary threshold shift. A temporary threshold shift is when the ability to hear is reduced temporarily, which causes a temporary hearing loss. The hearing loss disappears within hours or couple of days.

Please use our articles

You are very welcome to quote or use our articles. The only condition is that you provide a direct link to the specific article you use on the page where you quote us.

Unfortunately you cannot use our pictures, as we do not have the copyright, but only have the right to use them on our website.