ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat)
Hearing loss

Hearing loss is generally studied under three categories.

  • Conductive hearing loss: refers to hearing loss of the outer ear and the middle ear.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: refers to hearing loss associated with diseases related to inner ear, auditory nerve and brain.
  • Mixed hearing loss: is defined as a condition in which disease is present in not only one part but several parts of the auditory duct.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Causes of hearing loss in external ear include:

  • Earwax
  • Foreign body in external auditory canal
  • Closed external auditory canal at birth
  • Inflammation of the external ear
  • Tumors of the external ear

Causes of hearing loss in middle ear include:

  • perforation of the eardrum
  • inflammation of the middle ear
  • decrease in pressure in the middle ear
  • Calcification in middle ear ossicles
  • tumors of the middle ear

Causes of hearing loss in inner ear and auditory nerve include:

  • Inflammation of the inner ear
  • Damage to hearing cells in the inner ear
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Age-induced hearing loss
  • Meniere's Disease ( pressure increase in inner ear fluids)
  • Tumors of auditory nerve

In the case of hearing loss, first, the ear should be examined to establish the cause. During this examination, if you have a disease in the outer ear or ear drum, it can be easily identified.

In cases where the examination is normal, the cause of hearing loss is thought to be rather related to inner ear but some tests are made to determine this. The most important of these tests is a test to measure hearing, called audiometry.

Treatment of Hearing Loss

Treatment of earwax or any foreign bodies in external ear canal is performed by removing them.

Middle ear infections are usually treated with antibiotics or other medications. In the case of chronic middle ear infections, treatment is sometimes surgery. In the case of a disease called otosclerosis, which develops as a result of calcification of stapes bone in middle, stapes bone is removed and replaced by prosthesis.

In the case of hearing loss related to inner ear, hearing loss is usually permanent. However, in the case of tumor induced hearing loss, the tumor must be removed by sacrificing hearing.

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