Did you know that more than 15% of Americans experience some degree of hearing loss? In fact, hearing loss is one of the most common sensory processing disorders, affecting younger and older adults alike.
Hearing loss can affect your day-to-day life. It makes it difficult to have or hear conversations, identify and respond to sounds, and communicate. This can impact an individual’s personal and professional life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
While some people are born with a hearing impairment or defect that may worsen over time, most cases of hearing loss are attributed to unnatural circumstances. For instance, individuals frequently exposed to loud noises are likely to experience hearing loss. Similarly, hearing a gun blast from nearby or being too close to a loud sound source can also impact hearing.
Occupational hearing loss is also a common ailment. It affects individuals who work in loud and noisy environments for extended periods, such as construction workers, factory workers, musicians, and military personnel. Certain illnesses or accidents can also contribute to hearing loss, the symptoms of which may worsen over time.
Treating Hearing Loss
An otolaryngologist, or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, can treat your hearing loss, depending on its severity and cause. Most individuals experiencing hearing loss are provided with hearing assistance devices that are worn inside or on the ear to restore hearing. These devices amplify sound, aiding the ear’s hearing ability.
Cochlear implants are also a popular treatment option. These are ideal in cases where the person’s eardrum and middle ear are functioning normally. An electrode is inserted into the cochlea and stimulates electricity via the microprocessor placed behind the ear. This allows for improved hearing and speech comprehension.
Audiologic or hearing rehabilitation is used to help individuals introduced to implants or hearing devices adapt to the new technology. It helps them learn how to use their devices alongside lip reading and visual cues to improve communication.
In cases where hearing loss occurs due to ear infections, antibiotics may be used. Corticosteroids are popularly prescribed to reduce the swelling of cochlear hair cells.
ENT Specialist League City TX may also perform surgery to treat hearing loss. This is typically done in cases where they need to remove tumors, insert cochlear implants, treat severe ear infections, or reverse congenital disabilities.
The ENT surgeons and specialists at Houston Physicians’ Hospital can treat hearing loss and other ENT conditions. We also treat various musculoskeletal conditions.