Hearing loss has a multitude of causes which can occur anytime between birth and adulthood. The most common types of hearing loss are that associated with the normal aging process or excessive noise exposure. These types of hearing loss are often readily diagnosed and treated with a hearing aid and discussion of preventive measures. However, it is very important to rule out a more serious cause for the loss of hearing.
Progressive hearing loss during adulthood may be part of normal aging or signify a more serious process. Disorders such as infections or tumors can cause hearing loss which makes it important for a patient to see a physician to rule out these causes before a hearing aid is prescribed. Symptoms such as ear pain or drainage, ringing or roaring in the ear (tinnitus), or dizziness and balance problems can signal a more serious cause for the hearing loss and should be investigated by a physician. Occasionally a surgical procedure can correct or improve the hearing loss without the need for a hearing aid. New advances in hearing aid technology have made some hearing aids impossible to be seen from the outside and allow tailoring of the sound to the patient's specific hearing loss. Occasionally a more affordable assisted listening device such as an amplified telephone or headphone are all that is needed to improve a person's quality of life.
Profound hearing loss or deafness during childhood or adulthood can at times be improved by cochlear implantation depending on the cause of the deafness. A cochlear implant is a small device which is surgically implanted into the inner ear and provides sound perception to someone who would normally hear nothing. After the implant is placed, the patient is able to perceive sounds which, when coupled with speech and hearing rehabilitation, allow the patient to communicate effectively and carry on a much more normal life. Cochlear Implants are placed surgically by a surgeon specially trained with these devices.
Whatever the cause of hearing loss, and whenever it occurs during life, it is important to seek the diagnostic and treatment skills of an ear team with members that are specially trained in disorders of the ear, hearing and balance. At UCI, we have audiologists that are trained and equipped to test for any type of hearing loss. All patients who have hearing loss are evaluated by a neurotologist who has extensive training in all ear and balance disorders and can diagnose and treat all treatable causes of hearing loss both medically and surgically. Finally, our University Hearing Aid Center can provide any device suitable for a particular patient whether it is an amplified headphone or a state-of-the-art programmable hearing aid.
To Make an Appointment for Evaluation of Your Hearing Loss, Please Call 714-456-7017 or click here.