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Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. Causes Tiny hairs inside your ear help you hear.
Hearing loss can result from many different causes, some of which can be successfully treated with medicine or surgery, depending on the disease process.
Conductive hearing loss – when hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones (the malleus, incus, and stapes). Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) – when hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, also known as nerve-related hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss – refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Types of conductive hearing loss include congenital absence of ear canal or failure of the ear canal to be open at birth, congenital absence, malformation, or dysfunction of the middle ear structures, all of which may possibly be surgically corrected. Conductive hearing loss from head trauma is frequently amenable to surgical repair of the damaged middle ear structures, performed after the patient’s general medical status is stabilized following acute traumatic injuries.
A genetic form of conductive hearing loss is otosclerosis, in which there is bony fixation of the stapes (the third little bone of hearing in the middle ear), where sound can’t get to the middle ear.
Otosclerosis – a hereditary disorder in which a bony growth forms around a small bone in the middle ear, preventing it from vibrating when stimulated by sound. Sensorineural hearing loss can result from acoustic trauma (or exposure to excessively loud noise), which may respond to medical therapy with corticosteroids to reduce cochlea hair cell swelling and inflammation to improve healing of these injured inner ear structures. Sensorineural hearing loss can occur from head trauma or abrupt changes in air pressure such as in airplane descent, which can cause inner ear fluid compartment rupture or leakage, which can be toxic to the inner ear. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss, presumed to be of viral origin, is an otological emergency that is medically treated with corticosteroids. Bilateral progressive hearing loss over several months, also diagnosed as autoimmune inner ear disease, is managed medically with long-term corticosteroids and sometimes with drug therapy. Fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss may be from unknown cause or associated with Meniere’s Disease. Sensorineural hearing loss from tumors of the balance nerve adjacent to the hearing nerve, generally are not reversed with surgical removal or irradiation of these benign tumors. Sensorineural hearing loss from disease in the central nervous system may respond to medical management for the specific disease affecting the nervous system. Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss, the most common form of hearing loss, may be managed with hearing aids. A cholesteatoma is a skin growth that occurs in an abnormal location, the middle ear behind the eardrum.
Cholesteatoma is a serious but treatable ear condition which can only be diagnosed by medical examination.
Otitis media is the inflammation of the middle ear and occurs most commonly during the winter and early spring months. Remember, without proper treatment, damage from an ear infection can cause chronic or permanent hearing loss.
Earwax is healthy in normal amounts and serves to coat the skin of the ear canal where it acts as a temporary water repellent. Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning; that is, there is a slow and orderly migration of ear canal skin from the eardrum to the ear opening.
When cerumen is removed from the ear, the physician uses sucion, a cerumen spoon, or delicate forceps to do so. A perforated eardrum is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear.
Middle ear infections may cause pain, hearing loss, and spontaneous rupture (tear) of the ear-drum resulting in a perforation. On rare occasions a small hole may remain in the eardrum after a previously placed PE tube (pressure equalizing) either falls out or is removed by the physician.
Most eardrum perforations heal spontaneously within weeks after rupture, although some may take up to several months. The most common symptoms of swimmer’s ear are mild to moderate pain that is aggravated by tugging on the auricle and an itchy ear. WARNING: If you already have an ear infection, or if you have ever had a perforated or otherwise injured eardrum, or ear surgery, you should consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist before you go swimming and before you use any type of ear drops.


The tympanogram is a test that measures how easily the eardrum vibrates back and forth and and what pressure the vibration is the easiest. The ABR is a special hearing test that can be used to track the nerve signals arising in the inner ear as they travel through the hearing nerve (called the auditory nerve) to the region of the brain responsible for hearing. The ABR can also be used on small infants since it requires no conscious response from the person being tested. The ENG (short for electronystagmogram) is actually not a hearing test but rather a special test of the balance mechanism of the inner ear. Studies show even slight hearing problems reduce your earnings potential, increase your chances of dementia, social isolation and even your likelihood of falling. Our Hearing Amplifier helps improve speech intelligibility, increases your confidence, and reduces fatigue associated with the inability to hear what you want - leading to an improved quality of life. The Hearing Amplifier does not just "turn the volume up" like those cheap devices, it enhances the world around you discreetly.
They pick up sound waves and change them into the nerve signals that the brain interprets as sound. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. If these are not amenable to successful surgical correction, then the hearing alternatively may be improved with amplification with a bone conduction hearing aid, or a surgically implanted, osseointegrated device (for example, the Baha or Ponto System), or a conventional hearing aid, depending on the status of the hearing nerve. Autoimmune inner ear disease is when the body’s immune system misdirects its defenses against the inner ear structures to cause damage in this part of the body. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease are hearing loss, tinnitus (or ringing in the ears), and vertigo. If the hearing loss is mild and the tumors are very small, hearing may be saved in 50 percent of those undergoing hearing preservation surgery for tumor removal.
For example, hearing loss secondary to multiple sclerosis may be reversed with treatment for multiple sclerosis. When hearing aids are not enough, this type of hearing loss can be surgically treated with cochlear implants. These funnel through the ear opening, down the ear, canal, and strike your eardrum, causing it to vibrate.
It is usually due to repeated infection, which causes an ingrowth of the skin of the eardrum. Persisting earache, ear drainage, ear pressure, hearing loss, dizziness, or facial muscle weakness signals the need for evaluation by an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon.
Old earwax is constantly being transported from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out.
However, if you want to clean your ears, you can wash the external ear with a cloth over a finger, but do not insert anything into the ear canal. It typically occurs in swimmers, but the since the cause of the infection is water trapped in the ear canal, bathing or showering may also cause this common infection.
If you do not know if you have or ever had a perforated, punctured, ruptured, or otherwise injured eardrum, ask your ear doctor. This graph shows the amount of hearing loss expressed in units called decibels at different sound frequencies (also called Hertz). The middle ear is normally filled with air at a pressure equal to the surrounding atmosphere. A special probe is placed up against the ear canal, like an ear plug, and the equipment automatically makes the measurements. The test is useful because it can tell us where along that path the hearing loss has occurred. The test involves running a cool liquid and then a warm liquid through the ear canal (it is usually done through a small tube so the ear itself remains dry). Why take those risks when for 90% less than a custom device you can get a Hearing Amplifier that does not require appointments, prescriptions, fittings or any other inconveniences.
The 12 band digital sound processing focuses on voices while simultaneously reducing background noise. Otosclerosis can successfully be managed with surgery to replace the immobile stapes with a mobile stapes prosthesis or with a hearing aid.


Meniere’s disease may be treated medically with a low-sodium diet, diuretics, and corticosteroids.
The vibrations are passed to the small bones of the middle ear, which transmit them to the hearing nerve in the inner ear.
Cholesteatomas often take the form of a cyst or pouch that sheds layers of old skin that builds up inside the ear.
The middle ear is connected to the nose by the eustachian tube, which equalizes pressure in the middle ear.
When water is trapped in the ear canal, bacteria that normally inhabit the skin and ear canal multiply, causing infection and irritation of the ear canal. Simple tests, such as ones done in many schools, may be useful for screening, but a careful audiogram is necessary for accurate diagnosis of most hearing problems.
If the middle ear is filled with fluid, the eardrum will not vibrate properly and the tympanogram will be flat. For example, the ABR is often used for individuals with a sensorineural (nerve) loss in just one ear. Special electrodes automatically record the nerve signal; the patient can even be asleep during the test. This change in temperature stimulates the inner ear which in turn causes rapid reflex movements of the eyes. The hair cells do not regrow, so most hearing loss is permanent. There is no known single cause for age-related hearing loss. If there is no response to initial medical therapy, infectious middle ear fluid is usually treated with antibiotics — while chronic non-infectious middle ear fluid is treated with surgery (or pressure equalizing tubes).
Research suggests that the measles virus may contribute to stapes fixation in those with a genetic predisposition to otosclerosis. If the vertigo is not medically controlled, then various surgical procedures are used to eliminate the vertigo.
Here, the vibrations become nerve impulses and go directly to the brain, which interprets the impulses as sound (music, voice, a car horn, etc.). Over time, the cholesteatoma can increase in size and destroy the surrounding delicate bones of the middle ear.
If the middle ear is filled with air but at a higher or lower pressure than the surrounding atmosphere, the tympanogram will be shifted in its position. This movements are recorded, and from these we can get information about how well this balance mechanism is functioning. The incidence of otosclerosis may be decreasing in some communities due to measles vaccination. Hearing loss, dizziness, and facial muscle paralysis are rare but can result from continued cholesteatoma growth. If the ABR is normal along that region of the path, the chances of having this tumor are quite small. Otosclerosis (a hereditary disorder in which a bony growth forms around a small bone in the middle ear, preventing it from vibrating when stimulated by sound) usually causes a conductive hearing loss, a hearing loss caused by a problem in the outer or middle ear.
About half of all people over age 75 have some amount of age-related hearing loss. Symptoms The loss of hearing occurs slowly over time. Talk to you health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. Exams and Tests A complete physical exam is performed to rule out medical conditions that can cause hearing loss.
Sometimes, wax can block the ear canals and cause hearing loss. You may be sent to an ear, nose, and throat doctor and a hearing specialist (audiologist). Hearing tests can help determine the extent of hearing loss. Treatment There is no known cure for age-related hearing loss. The implant makes sounds seem louder, but does not restore normal hearing. Outlook (Prognosis) Age-related hearing loss is progressive, which means it slowly gets worse.



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