Hearing loss is a common problem which typically becomes more prevalent with age. There are three different types of hearing loss, and are defined by the location where the problem occurs:
- Conductive (problems with the eardrum or hearing bones)
- Sensorineural (problems with the inner ear structures including the cochlea or the nerve that connects the ear to the brain)
- Mixed (problems with both conductive and sensorineural components)
Potential causes of hearing loss include age related changes, loud noise exposure in the past, head or ear trauma, use of certain medications, or several types of infections. It is important for your doctor to determine which type of hearing loss you have in order to determine the most effective treatment plan.
Reasons to seek immediate medical attention include a sudden loss of hearing in one or both ears, trauma associated hearing loss, pain associated with hearing loss, or discharge from the ear. After discussing your problem and examining your ear, your doctor may recommend a hearing test to help determine the exact location of your hearing loss. At times, the hearing loss may be addressed simply by removing ear wax from the ear canal. At other times, there may be a variety of surgical options to address your problem. Many times, the best treatment involves the use of hearing aids.
The team at ENT Associates includes full time audiologists and a full audiology lab to aid the diagnosis and management of ear disorders, and our doctors are fully trained in the procedural and surgical options which may be available. If your doctor recommends hearing aids, we offer a broad variety of devices and hearing solutions.