My husband's recent experience with noise trauma at a school ball brought to light the often overlooked repercussions of exposure to loud environments. As an audiologist myself, the journey was both unusual and insightful, offering valuable lessons along the way.

At the beginning of this month, we attended our son's annual school ball where a particularly loud band played. While I experienced the typical temporary effects of loud noise – ringing in the ears and muffled hearing – my husband's symptoms persisted. Three days later, I carried out a hearing test confirming a mild high-frequency hearing loss in one ear. Concerned, we sought help at an A&E department the following day, where obtaining steroids became paramount to revive his hearing.

Thankfully, after a week, his hearing returned to normal, and the tinnitus subsided. His ability to communicate remained unaffected, although as an avid musician, the experience was deeply concerning.

One critical lesson from this ordeal is the importance of advocating for oneself in medical settings. Despite my background as an audiologist, we encountered obstacles in obtaining the appropriate treatment. It took persistence, including seeking a second opinion, to ensure my husband received the care he needed.

If anyone experiences sudden hearing loss or similar symptoms, swift action is crucial. Seek assistance from an Urgent Care Unit/ A&E department with an out-of-hours ENT service, within a week of symptom onset, and don't hesitate to advocate for yourself if necessary. Bringing along evidence, such as hearing test results obtained since the hearing loss occurrence, can also aid in receiving prompt and effective treatment.

Let this serve as a reminder that proactive measures and self-advocacy can make all the difference in safeguarding our auditory health.