Hearing loss has many causes, and it can occur at any point between birth and adulthood.
Hearing loss types
The most common types of hearing loss are 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 causes for hearing loss.
Progressive hearing loss during adulthood may be part of normal aging or signify a more serious disease.
Disorders such as infections or tumors can cause hearing loss. It's important to see a physician to rule out these causes before a hearing aid is prescribed.
When to see a doctor
The following symptoms can signal a more serious cause for the hearing loss and should be investigated by a physician:
- Ear pain or drainage
- Ringing or roaring in the ear (tinnitus)
- Dizziness and balance problems (vertigo)
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 UC Irvine, 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 an 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.
To help restore your ability to hear, we can provide any device suitable for a particular patient whether it is an amplified headphone or a state-of-the-art programmable hearing aid.
Hearing loss treatment
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.
Occasionally a surgical procedure can correct or improve the hearing loss without the need for a hearing aid.
Profound hearing loss or deafness during childhood or adulthood can often be improved by cochlear implants, 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. They are surgically placed by a surgeon who is specially trained in the use of the device.
To learn more, call 714-456-7017 or request an appointment online ›