If gradual hearing loss is affecting your day-to-day life, board-certified specialists Michael Wilhelm, MD, and Luke Arnholt, MD, can help at Pikes Peak ENT, with two locations in Colorado Springs and one in Woodland Park, Colorado. They have the necessary medical skills and technology and foster a laid back, relaxed atmosphere that ensures you have time to discuss something as vital as your hearing. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or booking an appointment online.
Yes, there are three main types of hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type in adults in the United States.
Each component of your auditory system works together to turn vibrations captured by your outer and middle ear into signals that nerve cells in your inner ear transmit to your brain, which turns the signals into sound.
A breakdown anywhere in the system can cause hearing loss. For instance, aging and exposure to loud noises can damage the nerve cells in the cochlea (part of the inner ear) that transmit sound signals to the brain, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is relatively common for individuals over 60 and tends to run in families. It’s typically of gradual onset and affects both ears at once equally. It may be related to changes in the inner ear and issues with the auditory nerve.
Certain medications are also considered toxic to the ears (ototoxic) and can cause sensorineural hearing loss, including some antibiotics and medications used to treat heart disease and cancer.
Something as simple as earwax buildup can cause conductive hearing loss, which is reversible with removal of the wax. Other reversible causes of conductive hearing loss include a ruptured eardrum or fluid buildup due to an infection.
The symptoms you experience often depend on the type of hearing loss you have. Sensorineural hearing loss, for example, may make it difficult to separate words from background noise. Presbycusis can make it difficult to tolerate loud sounds. With conductive hearing loss, sounds may be muffled.
Whenever possible, the underlying cause of your hearing loss is addressed, which may include surgical repair of a damaged eardrum or softening and removal of earwax. A hearing aid may help with sensorineural loss and severe hearing loss may respond well to a cochlear implant.
Effective treatment begins with a thorough evaluation and accurate diagnosis of the underlying issue. Schedule a visit at Pikes Peak ENT today. Call the office to book an appointment, or you can always use the online booking tool.