What Kind Of Doctor Treats The Ears?
Written By: Emma Squillace
According to the CDC, over 37 million American adults have some problem with hearing. So if you’ve had troubling ear symptoms including ringing in your ears, you’re not alone. Often people wonder what type of doctor they should see if they’re worried about their hearing or ear pain. The answer is an otolaryngologist – which is commonly called an ENT, or Ear, Nose & Throat doctor. At West Medical, we have a team of ENTs who focus on hearing and ear disorders. Here are some of the common issues we see patients for:
If you feel like your hearing ability is declining, this can be scary. While there is some natural decline in hearing as we age, any concerning loss of hearing should be evaluated by an expert as quickly as possible. At West Medical, we start with a comprehensive evaluation of your hearing ability. We’ll help you understand the link between ear structure and various causes of your hearing problems.
There are several types of hearing loss we treat patients for. The first is called sensorineural hearing loss, and this is related to your inner ear. In some cases these hearing issues are tied to the aging process, but in others they can be caused by exposure to loud noises, some kind of head trauma, a tumor, or even a virus. The next type of hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is generally due to problems in the ear canal or eardrum. It can also be related to the 3 tiny bones we have in our ears. Common causes of conductive hearing loss are fluid or wax in the ear, ear trauma, allergies, a tumor, or a foreign body.
Some patients who come to see us have both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. This combination is called mixed hearing loss.
Treatments for hearing loss
After we diagnose the cause of your hearing problems, we’ll educate you about your treatment options. This can include anything from wax removal to hearing aids, depending on what’s causing your hearing loss, and how severe it is. We also offer cochlear implants for the most severe hearing loss cases. The ENT’s at West Medical are well-experienced with the spectrum of hearing loss treatments, and can help you understand the pros and cons of each.
You can learn more about hearing loss here.
Ruptured ear drum
Sometimes patients come to see our ear doctors because they have a ruptured ear drum. Although you may not be able to tell your eardrum is ruptured, common signs include a severe earache, blood or pus coming from the ear, or hearing loss on one side. You may also experience a spinning feeling or dizziness, which is called vertigo. This is because your ears are strongly tied to your sense of balance. Ruptured eardrums can be caused by trauma like a fall, car accident, or sports injury. They can also be caused by increasing pressure on the ear which can be linked to a bacteria, virus, or fungus. When the pressure gets too great, the eardrum can rupture.
We diagnose a ruptured eardrum by asking you questions, performing an examination, and conducting hearing tests if needed. If you do have a rupture, sometimes it will heal on its own. Other times, treatment is needed. These treatments can include antibiotics, pain relievers, and an eardrum patch.
You can learn more about ruptured eardrums here.
If you’re having sudden hearing loss, or worsening hearing loss over time, seeing an expert like the ENTs at West Medical is a good idea. Some causes of hearing loss can be treated, and we offer a variety of ways to improve hearing. Whether you’re having symptoms of a ruptured eardrum, or suspect allergies are getting in the way of your hearing ability, our experts can help you understand. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at 855-690-0565.