Determine the best course of treatment for the type and severity of hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be broadly separated into the categories of sensorineural or conductive hearing loss. At the least it can be annoying and make communication more difficult. In more severe situations it can lead to learning difficulties, social anxiety and withdrawal, depression, and more rapid onset dementia. A SUDDEN CHANGE IN YOUR HEARING IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE EVALUATED RIGHT AWAY. An audiogram, or hearing test, will be able to determine the type and severity of the hearing loss and the best course of treatment.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is caused by problems in the electrical signals to the brain. This can be caused by damage to the. cochlea, or organ that perceives sound in the inner ear, the nerves transmitting the signal to the brain, or in the brain where the signals are interpreted and understood. It can be caused by trauma, noise, age, chemicals or drugs, tumors, infections, strokes, or inherited or developmental issues. Rarely is SNHL reversible, so prevention is crucial. If SNHL comes on suddenly, emergent treatment with steroids may help recover some of the loss and so must be started right away.
Conductive Hearing Loss (CHL) is a problem of the transmission of the sound from the outside of the ear to the inner ear. It can be caused by problems of the ear canal (wax, masses, foreign objects, infection or swimmer's ear), eardrum (scarring, holes, retraction), or the middle ear (hearing bones, fluid, ear infections, masses). Unlike SNHL, CHL can often be corrected. Treatment can be as simple as just cleaning of the ear canal, or it might require a surgery of the eardrum (like ear tubes) or hearing bones.
If you have noticed a change in your hearing, contact us today to help determine how we can help you.