Hearing Related Testing & Services
Hearing loss. One of the most common health issues in the world is also one of the most treatable.
48 million Americans—or nearly one in five, age 12 and older—experience hearing loss severe enough to hinder communication. If you think you or someone you know has hearing loss, the next step is an easy one - confirm it by seeing a hearing aid professional.
Did you know hearing loss treatment is shown to improve communication, earning power, intimacy and connections in family relationships, emotional stability, physical health and ease of communication? 9 out of 10 hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life!
Like computers, smartphones and most other high-tech devices, hearing aids have advanced significantly in the past several years. Thanks to more detailed research, faster processing speeds, new features and smarter designs, today's hearing aids are definitely not your father's hearing aids. Which is why there is no reason to "just put up" with hearing loss any longer.
The physicians and audiologists at Florida E. N. T. & Allergy have the experience and technology needed to precisely diagnose and measure your degree of hearing loss. If you do have hearing loss that can be helped with hearing aids, our experts will guide you to the best hearing aid choices for your lifestyle and your budget.
Causes of Hearing Loss
- Chronic exposure to loud noises, such as loud music or machinery
- Wax buildup in one or both ears
- Family history
- Fluid buildup due to ear infection
- Foreign object stuck in the ear canal
- Ototoxic medication
- Perforation of the eardrum from illness or injury
- Damage to the tiny bones, or ossicles, of the ear
Types of Hearing Loss
Results from a structural abnormality or blockage of the outer or middle ear.
Results from damage to the inner ear or to the auditory nerve.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Result of both neural and conductive loss affecting both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
While hearing loss may affect social interaction and other aspects of daily life, people are often unaware that they have a loss of hearing until others point it out to them. Common signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
- Speech is perceived to be muffled
- Inability to understand or decipher conversation
- Sensation that one or both ears are plugged
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Increased volume on radio or television
Diagnosis of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is diagnosed through a physical examination and various hearing tests may be performed. Tuning fork tests can help to diagnose whether the vibrating parts of the middle ear, including the eardrum, are working properly and whether there is damage to the sensors or nerves of the inner ear. Audiometer tests are used to determine the limits of the individual's hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Treatment of hearing loss depends in the cause of the problem. For temporary loss of hearing due to wax buildup, a thorough cleaning of the ear canal, also known as an irrigation or lavage, may be helpful. Hearing loss caused by an ear infection may be treated with antibiotics and decongestants to rid mucus from the ears. For more permanent types of hearing loss resulting from aging, or damage to the inner ear, hearing aids may be helpful, although adjusting to them may take a few weeks.
When the eardrum has been torn or perforated, a surgical procedure known as tympanoplasty, may be necessary to repair the eardrum. Individuals with more profound hearing loss as a result of a congenital defect, injury or disease, may benefit from the surgical implantation of a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that helps to provide a sense of sound. Individuals coping with severe hearing loss may also learn to pay careful attention to gestures and facial expressions, to read lips, or to use sign language in order to improve their communication skills.
Do you or someone you know suffer from constant “ringing in the ears”?
Maybe it’s not ringing exactly. Some people describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring and even chirping. Whatever noise it is, the real issue is something called tinnitus. Tinnitus (“TIN-a-tus” or “Tin-EYE-tus”) is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears or head when no external sound is present.
The important thing to know is that tinnitus is not a condition or a disease. Instead, it’s a symptom — typically of something bigger, like an ear infection, high blood pressure or, most common, hearing loss.
Many tinnitus sufferers have been pleasantly surprised at how relieved they felt after getting a tinnitus hearing aid. Besides having an appropriate device, it is also very important that your tinnitus hearing aid be properly programmed and adjusted to you and your tinnitus. Our patient education and comprehensive tinnitus information are additional valuable tools in helping patients to find relief.