There are many reasons why patients visit otolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose, and throat specialists, or ENTs, but one of the most common is hearing loss. If a patient reports a hearing problem, an ENT will recommend audiologic testing in Lancaster, PA to determine the cause and extent of the hearing loss and recommend an appropriate treatment. The following are some of the most common causes of hearing loss.
One of the top causes of hearing loss is loud noise. The people most affected are those who work at a job where they are regularly in an extremely loud environment. Rock musicians who perform on stage are often affected by hearing loss, as are people who work in manufacturing and construction and at airports and shooting ranges. Loud noise can burst the ear drum or cause damage to the small bones inside the ear.
Sudden changes in pressure can also cause permanent damage to the eardrums and the hearing. Divers are at risk of this. Some scuba divers have experienced ruptured eardrums and resulting hearing loss because they were unable to equalize the pressure in their ears.
Some medications are associated with hearing loss. These include some cancer drugs along with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and aspirin. Antibiotics have also been known to cause hearing loss in a few cases.
A growth inside the ear, like a polyp or tumor, can affect the hearing by obstructing the ear canal and preventing the transmission of sound waves. These are often non-cancerous growths and removing them can restore hearing.
One of the most common ear problems associated with hearing loss is the buildup of wax in the ear canal. Fortunately, ear wax is easy for an ENT to remove.
Aging is also a cause of hearing loss. As people age, they lose the small hairs in the inner ear. These hairs receive vibrations from sound waves and then transmit them to the brain as electrical signals. Many people over 65 suffer from age-related hearing loss.
Through audiologic testing in Lancaster, PA, an ENT can find the cause of a patient’s hearing loss and treat the cause if possible. He or she can also recommend treatment to improve hearing through hearing aids. For more information about hearing loss diagnosis and treatment, visit website of Otolaryngology Physicians of Lancaster.