The Center for Oto-Neurology Help Patients Rediscover Their Senses
Millions of Americans have some degree of hearing loss. People with hearing loss often complain of hearing but not understanding, have difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise and/or have trouble hearing certain pitches. Patients with hearing loss sometimes experience ringing or other sounds in their ear(s), dizziness or imbalance. When left untreated, these problems can affect social activities as well as work performance.
There are many reasons for hearing loss. A disorder of the outer or middle ear, such as wax build-up, middle-ear fluid or a problem with the middle ear bones, may prevent sound from reaching the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is known as conductive. Damage to the inner ear or hearing nerve due to aging, excess noise or disease causes a type of hearing loss known as sensorineural.
Would a Visit to a Hearing Loss Specialist Benefit You?
Treatment for hearing loss may include medication, surgery and/or hearing aids. Your physician may ask for certain evaluations, including audiometric testing, to determine the treatment. Take the following self-test to see if you might benefit from a professional hearing evaluation:
- Do people seem to mumble?
- Is it difficult to hear voices of women or children?
- Do you have ringing in one or both ears?
- Do you have trouble hearing in noisy restaurants?
- Does a hearing problem cause you to feel isolated?
- Have you worked around loud noises?
- Do you frequently ask others to repeat themselves?
- Are you dizzy or off-balance?
- Does a hearing loss cause you to feel embarrassed?
- Do people complain that you turn the volume up too loudly?
If you answered "yes" to two or more of these questions, contact your doctor for a referral to us for testing. Until then, the following strategies may help:
- Be sure you can see the speaker clearly by sitting closely, in good lighting.
- Try to eliminate background noise when possible by turning down televisions.
- Ask for seating away from noisy kitchen areas.
- Ask people to re-phrase missed information and to speak more slowly.