Addressing Hearing Problems: What to Do and Whom to Consult

ear checkupIf you’re experiencing hearing problems, specialists may suggest using a hearing aid. This is a small device placed in the ear to make sounds more audible. Before buying one, have a thorough medical evaluation to determine the extent of your hearing issues.

As most hearing problems can be medically addressed, visit a physician who can refer you to an otolaryngologist. Experiencing ear pain, excess earwax, sudden or rapid hearing loss progression, drainage, hearing difficulty in only one ear, or dizziness may be symptoms of a more serious medical condition.

After a medical exam, the otolaryngologist will assist you in getting a hearing assessment from an audiologist to check your ability to understand words and hear pure tone sounds. A screening test from a reliable hearing aid provider will also provide more adequate results. The results of these tests will determine the degree and type of hearing loss as well as other medical information regarding your aural health.

Here are the two types of hearing loss:

Conductive Hearing Loss

This type is when there’s a problem with the eardrum, the ear canal, and the three bones connected to the eardrum. This prevents the full sound energy from reaching the inner ear due to a mechanical blockage. Two common reasons for this are fluid behind the eardrum and excessive earwax in the ear canal. These can be treated through medical treatment or surgery.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This is when the cause of hearing loss is any damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve, usually due to aging and extreme exposure to noise. Hereditary reasons, systemic illness or infection, and head trauma may also cause this type of hearing loss. People who experience this can hear unclear or soft sounds. Sensitivity to loud sounds may also occur. While most medical or surgical operations may not eliminate most sensorineural hearing losses, quality hearing aids from trusted dealers may help reclaim some sounds lost due to nerve deafness.

When hearing problems are left untreated and ignored, they can get worse. It’s best to consult a specialist if you experience anything unusual with your hearing. Some of the choices that will help you include hearing aids, aural medicines, special training, and surgery.