Hearing

Listen to Your Body

Hearing

Hearing is an ability that most of us take for granted. Unfortunately, loss of hearing is a condition that affects many. It is estimated that over 6 crore people in India suffer from significant hearing loss. Apollo Clinic has set up a Speciality Clinic for Hearing Loss to address this growing concern.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss, impairment or deafness refers to the inability to hear things, either partially or totally. It is a common problem that often develops with age or with repeated exposure to loud noise. A person with hearing loss may have muffled hearing, be unable to hear sounds coming from some directions, have trouble hearing certain frequencies or sounds or be unable to hear anything at all.

There are mainly two types of hearing loss:

Sensorineural –This occurs when your auditory nerve or sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged; this type has more permanent effects.

Conductive – This occurs when sound waves are unable to reach your inner ear due to fluid, a punctured eardrum or earwax buildup.

What causes Hearing Loss?

The common causes of Hearing Loss include:

Sensorineural

  • Ageing
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Hereditary factors
  • Viral infections of the auditory nerve or inner ear such as mumps, measles or rubella
  • Conditions such as Meniere’s disease, meningitis, acoustic neuroma, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease or autoimmune diseases
  • Head injury
  • Malformation of the ear
  • Stroke
  • Certain treatments and medication such as chemotherapy or antibiotics

Conductive

  • Too much ear wax
  • Buildup of fluid in the ear known as glue ear
  • Ear infection
  • A foreign body being trapped in the ear
  • Malformation of the ear
  • A perforated ear drum, hole in the tear drum, torn ear drum
  • Otosclerosis, an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear
  • Damage to the hearing bones from injury, a collapsed ear drum or conditions such as cholesteatoma

What are the signs and symptoms of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss could be sudden at times. However, in most cases, it is a gradual process and has some visible telltale signs. Very often, signs of hearing loss are noticed by others before the person experiencing it. Our experts at Apollo Clinic’s Speciality Clinic for Hearing Loss recommend some signs and symptoms of hearing loss to be watchful of:

  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty hearing the doorbell or telephone
  • Constantly feeling stressed or tired from having to concentrate while listening
  • Difficulty in telling which direction a sound is coming from
  • Watching TV or listening to music with volume higher than what other people need
  • Difficulty in hearing other people clearly, and misunderstanding what they say, especially in a group situation
  • A ringing, buzzing or whistling sound in the ears

How can we help?

At Apollo Clinic’s Specialty Clinic for Hearing Loss, our doctors will conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose the cause of hearing loss. They will start off with a detailed discussion regarding your medical and family history. Next, he or she will conduct an ear examination using a special instrument with a light at the end, to look for any abnormalities. Depending on the results of the examination, you may be referred for further hearing tests such as:

Tuning fork test – A Y-shaped, metallic object called a tuning fork is used to produce sound waves at a fixed pitch and is held at different places around your head. This test helps determine if you have sensorineural or conductive hearing loss.

Pure tone audiometry – In this test, a machine called an audiometer is used to test the hearing of both ears. It produces sounds at various volumes and pitches which you listen to through headphones and respond on hearing them, usually by pressing a button.

Bone conduction test – This test is a sophisticated version of tuning fork test and is often used together with pure tone audiometry to determine is helps determine if you have sensorineural, conductive hearing loss or both. In this test, a vibrating probe is placed against the mastoid bone behind the ear to test how well sounds transmitted through the bone are heard.

Depending on the diagnosis and cause of hearing loss, our doctors will offer hearing loss treatment. Conductive hearing loss is generally temporary and treatable. It can be corrected using ear drops, a syringe or suction, antibiotics or minor surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss is a more serious condition and is permanent. You could need hearing aids, cochlear implants or auditory brainstem implants to improve your hearing and consequently, the quality of life. You may also need to go for lip reading and sign language sessions.

Apollo Support

At Apollo Clinic’s Speciality Clinic for Hearing Loss, we use cutting-edge technology and advanced equipment to diagnose and treat hearing loss. Our multidisciplinary team of ENT specialists, audiologists, surgeons, nurses and support staff take every measure possible to ensure that you receive optimum care. 

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