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Hearing Loss

Hearing loss occurs for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is the aging process, noise exposure, through ear trauma or infections can also decrease a person's ability to hear.

About 33% of Americans aged 65 to 74, and 47% of those 75 and older, experience hearing loss.1 It is more likely to occur in men than women. Common signs of hearing loss include difficulty hearing phone conversations, alarms or doorbells, or trouble having a conversation while there is background noise.

Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually due to changes in the outer, middle, inner ear and/or the auditory nerve. Both genetics and external health factors can determine the degree of age-related hearing loss one has.

Hearing loss resulting from traumatic damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve is permanent. Conductive or mixed hearing loss, which can generally be fixed by medicine or surgery, occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear, usually due to a punctured ear drum, fluid or ear wax build-up.

Temple's Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery offers medical and surgical solutions to hearing loss, full-scale audiology services, such as hearing tests, and can recommend, fit and prescribe hearing aids or other amplification devices.

Audiology Services

Temple's Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery includes a full-scale audiology service offering a wide range of tests to diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance problems.  Temple Audiology offers many amplification options such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored devices for patients with hearing loss.

Our audiology service offers hearing aid evaluations, check-ups, programming and fittings. We specialize in a full range of hearing aid products along with a full range of hearing protection such as tailored ear molds for swimmers, musician’s earplugs and anesthesiologist moldss, as well as custom molds for Bluetooth devices, earbuds and iPods.

In addition to audiology evaluations, hearing tests and speech understanding tests, we also offer:
  • Dizziness and balance testing
  • VNG  (vestibular inner ear testing)
  • Electrical response audiometry
  • ECoG/ ECochG (testing for Meniere’s disease)
  • Auditory brain stem response testing (awake and sedated)
  • VEMP testing (vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing)
  • Ototoxicity monitoring
  • Provide hearing rehabilitation services, along with patient and family education
In order to see a Temple audiologist, it is necessary to obtain a referral from an otolaryngologist.

To schedule an appointment with a Temple Otolaryngologist/Head & Neck Surgeon, click here or call 844-570-1767.

Surgical Treatment of Hearing Loss

Depending on the cause of hearing loss, surgery may be a desirable treatment option. Temple's board-certified head and neck surgeons have extensive experience with a variety of procedures, including:
  • Cochlear implant: small electronic device that is surgically implanted in the ear to restore a limited sense of hearing to patients who are deaf or extremely hard-of-hearing. Cochlear implants consist of a microphone and transmitter worn outside the ear that pick up and send acoustic signals via electrical stimuli to an electrode implanted inside the inner ear.
  • Bone anchored hearing aid: a small device that sends acoustic signals to the inner ear through the skull via vibration. Unlike traditional hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aids are surgically implanted into the skull behind the ear. Because they bypass the ear canal, they can amplify hearing in patients with chronic ear infections, ear malformations or tumors of the ear canal that may have caused a conductive or mixed hearing loss.
  • Stapedectomy: a surgical treatment for otosclerosis, a condition in which abnormal bone growth in the middle ear interferes with hearing. During stapedectomy, the abnormal bone growth is removed and replaced with a tiny prosthesis.
  • Middle ear reconstruction: a surgical procedure to replace the bones of the middle ear. The vibrations of these tiny bones are necessary for good hearing. When these bones have been damaged by infection, trauma or surgery, they can be removed and replaced with micro- prostheses to restore hearing.

NIH SeniorHealth