Hearing loss affects people of all ages and races all over the world. Hearing loss can significantly impact your life, making you feel isolated, depressed, and socially withdrawn. However, you can regain your hearing with effective treatments.
If you are experiencing problems with hearing loss, our experts at Ear, Nose, & Throat Care, PC in Somerville and Warren, New Jersey, can help. We provide comprehensive and effective hearing loss testing and a customized treatment plan, including same-day in-office pediatric audiology services. Our experienced audiologists offer expert care for hearing loss at any age or stage and help you choose a hearing aid suited for your needs. For a consultation, contact the office that is at your convenient location.
Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss problems can be managed and overcome when detected on time. Our ear specialists at Ear, Nose &Throat Care PC provide comprehensive and effective diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.
Untreated Hearing Loss Consequences
Untreated hearing loss can damage your physical health, emotional well-being, mental state, and professional and personal relationships. This can lead to:
- Diminished cognitive function
- Social withdrawal or avoidance
- Fatigue, irritability, and anger
- Memory impairment and inability to concentrate and learn new tasks
- Increased risk to personal safety due to reduced alertness
- Reduced job performance
- Stress, tension, and depression
- Loneliness and social rejection
- Physical injuries such as falls
Hearing loss problems can be managed and overcome when detected on time. Our ear specialists at Ear, Nose &Throat Care PC provide comprehensive and effective diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. We compassionately perform a series of tests to help determine the type of hearing loss you may have, such as Complete audiological evaluation, Otoacoustic emissions testing, and Assessment of balance disorder using electronystagmography. The tests are pain-free and provide immediate results.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss including:
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Conductive hearing loss
- Mixed (both conductive and sensorineural)
Conductive Hearing Loss
This occurs when there are problems in the outer or middle ear and its tiny small bones. It occurs when sound is blocked by wax or a foreign object inside the ear canal. It is common in children who insert objects in their ears. Causes of conductive hearing loss include:
- A hole in the eardrum
- Benign tumors
- Impacted ear wax or cerumen
- Poor Eustachian tube function
- Fluid in the middle ear due to colds
- Ear infections or otitis media
- Stuck objects in the outer ear
- Malfunction or dysfunction in the outer or middle ear
Treatments for Conductive Hearing Loss
Hearing loss treatments are based on the underlying cause and type of hearing loss. Once our ENT physicians at Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC, identify your hearing loss, we treat it as soon as possible and efficiently mitigate any adverse effects.
Most cases of conductive hearing loss are temporary. Appropriate treatments can cure it; therefore, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If there is an obstruction or foreign body, the doctor will remove it.
For ear infections, antibiotics or antifungal medications are prescribed. Structural ear issues, tumors, bone lesions, and chronic middle ear fluid require surgery to resolve.
Hearing aids are used when surgery is not an option. Conventional hearing aids or surgically implanted devices such as the Pronto system or Bone Anchored Hearing Devices help amplify hearing.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL)
This is also known as nerve-related hearing loss and is caused by problems in the inner ear caused by loud noise or injury. It is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. The condition cannot be medically and surgically treated; however, hearing aids can help.
- Hereditary hearing loss
- Inner ear damage due to age(presbycusis) and chronic exposure to loud noise
- Illnesses or virus
- Head trauma or injury
- Drugs that are toxic to hearing
- Abnormal growths in the ear or tumors
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Meniere’s Disease
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatments
Sensorineural hearing loss is not curable, but hearing aids and implants can help amplify sound. Treatments options include:
- Cochlear implants are surgically implanted into the ear to make sounds louder. They do not restore normal hearing and are only used for people with severe hearing loss. Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss can be surgically treated with cochlear implants.
- Drug therapy (immunosuppressive drugs) or long-term corticosteroids for autoimmune inner ear disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the inner ear. Autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by rapidly progressive, bilateral hearing loss.
- Emergency surgery for head trauma or abrupt changes in air pressure like during an airplane descent or scuba diving may cause middle ear fluid leakage that can be toxic to the inner ear. The fluid in the ear may lead to significant hearing loss. Emergency surgery dramatically improves the outcome.
- Radiosurgery or radiation therapy for removal of benign tumors (acoustic neuromas) of the hearing nerve. The tumor removal is done under general anesthesia.
- Corticosteroids to reduce cochlea hair cell inflammation and swelling.
- Diuretics and corticosteroids for Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease include vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. If vertigo is not medically controlled, surgery can treat vertigo.
At Ear, Nose & Throat Care PC, we offer state-of-the-art hearing devices customized to meet your lifestyle needs and budget. We also have custom-made hearing protection devices and swim molds to protect your ears.
For more information, contact us today or schedule your hearing loss evaluation online today.