Loss is a common reason to visit an ENT. Hearing loss may occur
from the inability of sound to get to the hearing nerve or from
damage to hearing nerve itself.
hearing is impaired because sound does not travel well to the
hearing nerve. This type of hearing loss is called conductive
hearing loss. One of the most common cause of conductive hearing
loss is fluid in the middle ear space. This may occur secondary
to a sinus infection, cold or severe allergies. All of these cause
swelling in the nose, which creates
negative pressure in the middle ear, causing fluid accumulation.
Usually, this fluid will resolve itself within several weeks.
Decongestants, antihistamines and antibiotics can hasten the resolution
of the accumulation. Occasionally fluid will persist in the middle
ear space for a longer period of time. Fluid persisting longer
than 3 months will rarely resolve. To remove the fluid, your ENT
will make a small drainage hole in the eardrum and possible place
a temporary tube. The hole heals itself within 2 weeks, leaving
no permanent hearing loss.
loss may also occur from damage to the hearing nerve. This type
of hearing loss is call sensorineural hearing loss and is usually
irreversible. The most common cause for sensorineural hearing
loss is noise exposure. Some sensorineural hearing loss is inherited.
This may occur even when both parents have normal hearing. Certain
chemotherapeutic agents and intravenous antibiotics may also cause
hearing loss. Rarely, an inner ear fluid imbalance may lead to
the hearing loss is severe, a hearing aid may be of benefit. Hearing
aid technology has improved significantly in the past 10 years,
allowing selective amplification of certain pitched sounds. Hearing
aids have also markedly decreased in size.
White Rock ENT, our audiologist
is experienced in the fitting and maintenance of most hearing