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Dr. Michael Burnett Specializes 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.



Category Archives: Hearing

Common Hearing Problems and Treatments

What are the more common hearing problems and treatments? Hearing loss is common among older adults. In fact, it is natural for you to experience hearing problems as you grow older. Although many people develop these issues with age, hearing loss can very well affect people of all ages and medical backgrounds. For example, some infants are born with congenital hearing loss. Other times, hearing problems can be a result of certain diseases affecting the ears.

Common Hearing Problems and Treatments

In any case, impaired sense of hearing can have adverse effects on your quality of life. It makes it hard for patients to hear sounds and participate in conversations. According to the reports, every 1 in 10 people suffers from some extent of hearing loss. If you experience a problem in hearing, an ENT specialist might be able to determine and address your issue.

Types of Hearing Problems and Their Treatments

There are three basic types of hearing problems that affect people of all ages. You may experience any of these in one (unilateral hearing loss) or two (bilateral hearing loss) ears. This and the category of your condition entirely depend on the cause and location of the damage.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The most common type of hearing problem is called sensorineural hearing loss. There may be several reasons why someone may experience this condition. Common reasons include exposure to loud noise, disease, injury, inherited condition, aging, etc.

A patient experiences sensorineural hearing loss when the hearing nerve or inner ear suffers from damage. Generally, this is also when the hair cells within your cochlea are damaged.


It is quite impossible to treat sensorineural hearing loss medically or surgically. However, different treatment options and methods improve the symptoms for many people. In fact, hearing aids have proved beneficial in some cases as well.

Corticosteroids can improve symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL). They can reduce swelling of cochlea cells as well as inflammations caused due to loud noise exposure.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is another type of hearing problem that can occur in people of all ages. Typically, this health condition relating to the ears is most common in children who have suffered from recurrent ear infections.

When a child experiences infections too frequently or inserts foreign objects in the ear canal, they are likely to develop conductive hearing loss over time. The loss mainly occurs in the outer and middle layers of the ear, inhibiting sound waves from reaching the inner ear.


It is possible to reverse conductive hearing loss through surgical or medical intervention. Surgery may be beneficial in conditions like:

  • Congenital absence of ear canal
  • Closed ear canal
  • Malformation
  • Dysfunction of structures in the middle ear
  • Otosclerosis

Other times, amplification with the help of a surgically implanted osseointegrated device and bone-conduction hearing aid also helps. Depending on the severity of damage and condition of your hearing nerve, your ENT might also recommend a conventional hearing aid.

Common Hearing Problems and Treatments | Best ENT NYC

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss refers to a hearing problem that is caused due to a combination of both sensorineural and conductive damage. For example, some people have damaged outer and middle ear as well as the damaged cochlea and auditory nerve.

Most of the time, mixed hearing loss is a result of inherited conditions, ear infections, or a head injury. On the other hand, some patients develop conductive components as an addition to their sensorineural hearing loss.


According to audiologists, it is better to take care of and treat the conductive component first. This is because many patients tend to become better candidates for hearing aids this way. For example, flattening the audiogram in addition to the conductive component presents a high-frequency loss in many cases.

Common Hearing Problems and Treatments: Conclusion

While it is hard to reverse all hearing problems, it is possible to reduce the severity of symptoms through medical or surgical intervention. If you’re experiencing any sort of hearing problem, seeing an ENT specialist in time can help.

Dr. Michael Burnett can diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment option. Visit us today or give us a call at 212-867-4813.


Technology And Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common problem. Statistics state the number to be one out of every ten Americans. Otolaryngologists, also called ear notes and throat (ENT) specialists are trained to diagnose and treat hearing loss, among other matters. In the past four decades, technology has made it easier for them to address the situation and recommend treatment that works effectively.

Hearing Loss, Technology and Devices

Today, we live in a world where technology rules. It is at the forefront of many medical discoveries. Combining medical research with computers and digital technology has provided us with a wide array of options when it comes to enhancing our hearing. Your ENT specialist will look at a variety of factors before suggesting the best devices for your condition. Under consideration will be:

  • Type of hearing loss
  • Severity of hearing loss
  • Work environment
  • Home environment
  • Extracurricular activities

These will influence the type of hearing device. Your options will range from simple amplified listening devices such as telephones and alarm clocks to cochlear implants. These are tiny devices surgically implanted in your inner ear. Your NET specialist would suggest these only if you are profoundly deaf.

You can also rely on your hand held devices to help. Such things as cell phones, tablets and laptops allow you to send and receive text messages. This form of technology helps by reducing the chance you will misinterpret or not hear crucial or casual material. Yet, still holding prominence is one of the most common pieces of equipment to help you with your hearing loss. This is a hearing aid.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are no longer as heavy or conspicuous as they once were. Digital technology has made them lighter, highly adaptable and more intelligent than ever before. Thanks to the latest technology, hearing aids are now more individualized than ever before. You can order models with special features and programs. Their noise reduction algorithms are very successful at reducing and even removing that annoying whistling of feedback.

Decreased visibility is also a common feature. Depending upon the extent of your hearing loss, you may even wear a model that is hidden inside your ear. In general, hearing aids are available as:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • Mini BTE
  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • In-the-canal (ITC)
  • Completely-in-canal (CIC)
  • These electronic instruments are small, light, removable and individualized.

Technology and Hearing Loss

Computers and the digitalized world have created a shift in the way NET specialists can provide help for those with hearing loss. The latest technology offers options previously lacking. The continued advancement in miniaturization of complex devices and the improvement of many hearing devices bodes well for all who currently have and may soon suffer hearing loss in the future.

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

Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
(Between Park + Lexington Ave.)
Suite 600
New York, NY 10022