White Rock ENT

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Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Hearing 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.

Frequently, 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.

Hearing 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 hearing loss.

If 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.

At White Rock ENT, our audiologist is experienced in the fitting and maintenance of most hearing aids.


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