Hearing Loss

Learn about hearing loss and your treatment options.

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Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be the result of many factors. Sometimes it is genetic, the result of aging, or sometimes it can be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises or damage to the hearing nerve in your ear. At Atlanta ENT, we can diagnosis your hearing loss and explain what may have caused it. We want to help you understand your own hearing loss.

There are two main types of hearing loss, each affecting different parts of the auditory system and the level of frequency you can hear. There is conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. The causes of hearing loss vary from ear infection to head trauma to aging.

  • Conductive hearing loss: This is often the result of earwax build-up, air pressure or fluid accumulation, or from a traumatic head/ear injury. Conductive hearing loss is the failure to transfer sound from the external and middle ear to the inner ear nerve.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: This is caused by age, damage to the inner-ear, traumatic injury, medication, or noise-induced trauma. Sensorineural hearing loss is when the inner ear fails to pick up sounds being brought in from the outer and middle ear.

Hearing Loss and Your Health

Hearing aids at Atlanta ENT in Atlanta, GA

Hearing loss doesn’t only affect your ears, but your brain and vestibular system as well. When you can’t hear sounds, your brain stops processing those sounds into information, resulting in cognitive decline. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to dementia. This is because when your brain isn’t processing sound it doesn’t receive the stimulation it needs to stay active and healthy. Hearing aids can help keep your brain healthy by hearing sounds and sending those to the brain to process.

Inside your ear is also the vestibular system, which is responsible for keeping you balanced. When there is damage to your hearing, specifically in the peripheral balance system, then you can feel dizzy or experience symptoms of vertigo. By performing a vestibular test we can determine where in the ear the issue is coming from and sometimes treat the dizziness or vertigo with hearing aids. At Atlanta ENT, our audiologist specializes in balance disorders and the vestibular system. Dr. Prince can help you with your hearing and to feel your best.