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Specializing in problems of the Ear, nose, sinuses and throat.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

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Category Archives: Hearing Loss

Age Related Hearing Loss: Can It Be Treated?

Age related hearing loss can be devastating and debilitating in many cases, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. There are some treatments that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of age related hearing loss and significantly improve your life quality. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the most common treatments for age related hearing loss. But first, we’re going to touch on its symptoms and causes.

What are the Symptoms of Age Related Hearing Loss?

Age related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is fairly common among the elderly. In most cases, people affected by presbycusis report a difficulty to hear high pitch sounds. Since voices are often high pitched, one of the first symptoms is difficulty hearing speech. You may have more difficulty with certain high pitched consonants as well, such Ss, Ts, Ks, Ps and Fs.

Men’s voices may also appear clearer than women’s voices because of their pitch, and hearing can become especially problematic in high noise environments. Speech can sound mumbled and can be accompanied with ringing in the ears, vision changes, disorientation or dizziness. If you happen to experience more than two of these symptoms, you should definitely consider consulting a doctor immediately.

What are the Causes of Age Related Hearing Loss?

Other than age, many factors may be at cause. One of the most common culprits is genetic predisposition. In many cases, you might be hereditarily predisposed to developing the condition later on. Other factors such as repeated exposition to loud sounds can be at cause, so if you’ve worked most of your years in noisy environments, you might be more at risk of developing the condition. Smokers are also more prone to developing presbycusis as they age.

What are the Treatments for Age Related Hearing Loss?

Most of the time, a patient will be required to wear hearing aids if the condition is severe. While hearing aids will usually not restore your hearing completely, they work to improve your hearing using technology. There are also implants that can be used to improve hearing, but this is usually reserved for extreme cases.

While age related hearing loss can be difficult to accept, it is still manageable with the right tools. But, it all starts with working with a good and attentive doctor that will be able to recommend the best treatment options for your condition. If you feel like you may be experiencing age related hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation.

Treating Sensorineural Deafness

Treating Sensorineural DeafnessHearing problems affect a substantial amount of individuals around the globe. No age, gender or race is exempt. Both children and seniors can suffer from hearing loss. However, the causal factors for each group can differ radically. For adults, the most common cause of deafness in most adults is sensorineural. Sensorineural deafness, unlike other forms, occurs in one of three places:

 

 

The inner ear
The auditory nerve
The brain
The type of hearing loss always will affect the direction treatment will take.

Causes of Sensorineural Deafness

Another name for this type of type of hearing loss is nerve deafness. It is also referred to as sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). As noted above, it tends to affect adults and not children – although some people are born with this problem. The risk of suffering from this type of deafness increases with age. In fact, more elderly Americans have sensorineural deafness than any other form of hearing loss. Figures argue the percentage of elderly so afflicted may be as high as 50% of those seniors age 70 or more.

The causes for sensorineural deafness are not known specifically. However, certain factors seem to contribute to its existence. The most prevalent is consistent and even constant exposure to loud noises. This includes, but is not restricted to the following:

    • Treating Sensorineural DeafnessExplosions – from working in a mine or in construction
    • Sudden, loud noises (acoustic trauma) – this may induce temporary or even permanent sensorineural deafness or hearing loss
    • Music – exposure to loud music consistently as part of employment or pleasure
    • Loud noises – such as those found in foundries, steel plants, certain types of factories, shipyards, etc.
    • Gunfire – an occupational or pleasurable hazard

However, this type of hearing loss may also appear following head trauma, certain disorders that effect the inner ear, Menière’s disease and tumors found on the auditory nerve. Furthermore, the taking of certain drugs used to treat severe illnesses e.g. ototoxic drugs used for chemotherapy and certain antibiotics, may also contribute to the hearing problem.

Treatment for Sensorineural Deafness

The treatment for hearing loss of this nature may be simple and singular. It will depend upon the type and extent of sensorineural deafness.  If the causal factors are sudden, loud noises, corticosteroids may effectively reduce the inflammation and swelling of the inner ear hair cells. In special cases, surgery may be able to repair inner ear rupture or leakage. Another possibility is medication, if the problem results from a disease.

Treating Sensorineural Deafness

However, these types of sensorineural hearing loss are not as common as irreversible sensorineural deafness. In such instances, you only have one option. This is simple and can be quite effective. You can manage the problem with hearing aids. While you may never be able to regain your hearing, at least you will be able to still enjoy the sounds of life around you.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation.

Seniors And Hearing Loss

Seniors And Hearing LossIf you are an American between the ages of 65 and 74, chances are high you have some form of hearing loss. In fact, some statistics estimate it to be one out of every three. If you are a senior aged 85 or more, you may be among the half that does suffer from age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. The extent of this problem can vary. For some seniors it is a minor problem. They simply no longer can hear certain sounds. For others, the hearing loss is more extensive. In most cases, however, this natural, age-related process comes to us all.

Why Do you Lose your Hearing as you Age?

As you age, a number of factors contribute to your loss of hearing. Some are specifically age-related; others are contributory factors.

Seniors And Hearing LossCommon reasons for you losing your ability to hear as you once did are:

    • Long exposure to loud sounds and other noises
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Medications
    • Abnormalities of the outer or middle ear

While most age-related hearing problems result from natural changes in the inner ear, anything that negatively affects the sensory cells in your ears can contribute to hearing loss. In many cases, the loss of hearing capabilities in seniors is the result of a mixture of noise-engendered and age-related factors.

The Impact of Hearing Loss for the Elderly

If you are a senior, hearing loss can negatively upset your life in a variety of ways. The result may be as simple as missing what friends and family are saying. You may not be able to catch everything your doctor is telling you or what the pundits on television are trying to convey. As a result, you may feel isolated. You can withdraw.

If you do not admit you have a hearing problem, misunderstandings easily occur. People consider you:

    • Difficult
    • Confused
    • Uncaring
    • Withdrawn

It is important you put aside any embarrassment. Avoid isolating yourself from those who can help you.  Take an important step and visit your family doctor or ENT specialist.

Treatment for Seniors with Hearing Loss

Seniors And Hearing LossYou may never get your full range of hearing back. However, by talking to a medical professional, he or she can offer suggestions to improve the quality of your life. The most common means of treating most regular forms of aged-related hearing problems is simple – hearing aids. ENT specialists can help you address this situation, helping you to discover what will work best for your specific type of hearing lost. The right hearing aids, together with various technologically advanced.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation.

Can Cochlear Implants Help You?

Cochlear ImplantsWhen it comes to hearing loss, there is not always something that can be done to improve the hearing of an individual. However, for many people, cochlear implants can provide an outstanding opportunity to see significant improvement in what they hear and the quality of their hearing. Take the time to get to know this type of implant and how it can help you before you head in to see an ENT for the hearing loss you are facing.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

This type of implant is a small electronic device made up of complex connections that can help to provide a sense of sound. Generally, this type of implant is best suited for those who are very hard of hearing or even profoundly deaf. The device itself has an external portion that will be placed behind the ear. The second portion of the device is then surgically implanted just under the skin. There are various benefits to this type of implant. However, it all is based on how the intricate pieces of the system work.

There is a very small microphone on the implant that works to pick up sounds from the environment around the individual. There is then a speech processor on the implant that works to select and arrange sounds that are picked up. This is then sent through the transmitter and receiver portion, which will receive the signal and convert it into an electric impulse. The final portion is an electrode array, which will then obtain these signals and send them to various regions of the auditory nerve.

It is important to note that this type of implant does not have the ability to restore a person’s hearing to a normal level. However, it can help to give a person who otherwise cannot hear a useful type of representation of sounds that are happening around them and help them to then understand speech more effectively.

Cochlear ImplantsIf you are suffering from being very hard of hearing, you may want to consider the benefit that a cochlear implant can offer to you. They can be suitable for adults or children with various types or reasons for hearing loss. Not everyone will see the same level of improvement, but many people do see the value of investing in these. Call our offices at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation with our ENT doctor in New York about your needs.

Hearing Loss

Causes

Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States, Hearing lossand affects almost 36 million Americans. There are a wide variety of causes of hearing loss, including age-related hearing loss, hearing loss due to noise, medications, illness, or as a result of genetic characteristics. The most common cause of hearing loss is aging, and it may result from damage over the course of a lifetime, but 50% of Americans over the age of 75 have some hearing loss. If you are experiencing hearing loss, you should see an ENT specialist for diagnosis and treatment of your problem. Hearing loss can greatly impact your quality of life and your relationships with friends and family.

medications-for-hearing-lossMedications that include some antibiotics, diuretics, aspirin, chemotherapy drugs, and some medications used to treat erectile dysfunction can all cause hearing loss. Other people experience hearing loss as a result of illness like high blood pressure or diabetes, which cause damage to the blood supply of the ear. Meniere’s disease is an illness that affects the inner ear and results in both vertigo and hearing loss. Otosclerosis is a disease that affects the bones in the middle ear, and it can also cause hearing loss.

Frequent ear infections can result in loss of hearing, and any type of trauma to the head may cause some amount of hearing loss. Some patients have earwax blockage that prevents sound waves from traveling through the ear canal to the ear drum, resulting in loss of hearing.

Symptoms

hearing-loss-symptomsHearing loss can occur slowly over time, and you may only notice small difficulties when talking on the phone, or you may think people around you are mumbling. In the early stages, you may not recognize loss of hearing. High pitched sounds are usually the first to go, and some sounds are difficult to distinguish, like “s” or “f.” You may experience difficulty hearing a conversation above background noise, or you can have difficulty following a conversation when more than one person is speaking. You may notice that you have to repeat yourself, or your family members may complain that you have the volume up too high on the television. Some people experience sounds like roaring or ringing in their ears as they develop hearing loss. This is called tinnitus. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should be evaluated by an ENT specialist. Dr. Michael Burnett is one of the top ENT doctors in New York, and he is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with hearing loss.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

If you are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, you should try to notice how frequently they occur and how much difficulty you are experiencing. Patients who have mild hearing loss can easily understand conversations that are one-on-one, but have more difficulty understanding a conversation if there is noise in the background. Moderate hearing loss will result in the need to ask people around you to frequently repeat what they are saying, both on the telephone and in person. If you have severe hearing loss, you will not be able to follow conversations without a hearing aid. Finally, if your hearing loss is profound, other people will have to be extremely loud in order for you to hear what they are saying. You will need either a hearing aid or a cochlear implant to assist you to understand conversation.

Treatment Options for People With Hearing Loss

ucm373287Dr. Michael Burnett, a top ENT in New York, can offer patients with hearing loss a variety of treatments that depend upon the reason for hearing loss and the consequences of any damage to the ear. If you have an infection, treatment with antibiotics will often resolve your hearing loss, and if you have hearing loss that has resulted from damage caused by a medication, identification of the medication and substitution with an alternative may give you an opportunity to recover your hearing. Sometimes hearing loss may be caused by scar tissue, infection, or a disease of the bones of the middle ear. In these cases, the problem can sometimes be fixed by surgery.

A top ENT specialist can offer you the best option for treatment of your hearing loss. Cochlear implants are a surgical treatment that is used most frequently with young children who have hearing problems, but use is increasing to treat older patients with profound hearing loss.

If you are experiencing problems with hearing loss, call
212-867-4813 for an appointment with Dr. Michael Burnett, New York’s top ENT doctor.


 

Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenes

212-867-4813