Anil K. Gupta, MD
ENT located in Royal Oak, MI
If it seems like everyone around you is suddenly mumbling or speaking too quietly, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing hearing loss. Dr. Gupta’s audiologist, at Gupta ENT Center in Royal Oak, Michigan, is an ASHA-certified audiologist for children and adults. If you’re having trouble hearing, call the practice to schedule an appointment.
Hearing Loss Q & A
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss is often part of the aging process, but there are many other causes. Hearing loss may be hereditary, caused by disease, or a result of a head injury or tumor growth. Common causes of hearing loss include:
Otosclerosis is a middle ear disease, involving stiffening of the middle ear bones, that causes conductive hearing loss and is often treated with surgery.
Autoimmune inner ear disease
Autoimmune inner ear diseases cause your body to attack itself. Hearing loss caused by autoimmune inner ear diseases happens rapidly. Call Dr. Gupta immediately if you suddenly lose your hearing, as medical treatment can help prevent further hearing loss.
Ménière's disease is an inner ear problem that usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Hearing loss may come and go, but over time, some Ménière's disease hearing loss becomes permanent.
Ototoxic medications can cause hearing loss, including:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics
- Loop diuretics
- Large amounts of over-the-counter aspirin
Extremely loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can happen suddenly, such as an explosion, or can happen over time, such as working in a factory with loud machinery.
What are the first signs of hearing loss?
Most people experiencing hearing loss complain that people talk too fast, too quietly, or mumble. Hearing loss is often accompanied by constant or occasional ringing in the ears, called tinnitus.
Is hearing loss reversible?
Some types of hearing loss may be reversible while others are permanent. Sensorineural hearing loss, in which the inner ear or hearing organ becomes permanently damaged, is typically not reversible. You may benefit from hearing aids or a cochlear implant if you have sensorineural hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss, in which sound is blocked by earwax or fluids, or a bone abnormality, can often be reversed by medications or surgery. Temporary conductive hearing loss is common in children who have recurrent ear infections.
What are the types of treatments for hearing loss?
Medical options for restoring hearing loss are limited, but depending on the type and cause of hearing loss, Dr. Gupta may offer solutions that include:
- Hearing aids
- Bone-anchored implantable devices
- Middle-ear implants
If you’re struggling to hear conversations, the television, or other sounds, don’t delay. Call or schedule an appointment with Gupta ENT Center for a hearing evaluation and to discuss possible treatments.