Ears and Hearing Aids Audiology Center of Excellence at Colorado ENT & Allergy

Our Colorado Springs Audiologists provide evaluation and treatment of both common and complex auditory and balance conditions. We also provide hearing aid and cochlear implant services and fit hearing protection devices.  In addition, we perform infant hearing screening and follow-up assessments as needed.

Hearing Loss

Here at Colorado ENT, we offer comprehensive hearing tests and solutions for those with impaired hearing. Our team of Audiologists and staff have made it our mission to educate as many people as possible about the risks, the facts of hearing loss, as well as both the short term and long-lasting effects of hearing damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss can develop at any age and may be caused by many different factors. A hearing loss is categorized in 3 different ways:
  • Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the hearing nerve itself becomes damaged. The most common type of hearing loss, it can be a result of aging, exposure to loud noise, injury, disease, ototoxic drugs or an inherited condition. Most people benefit from the use of hearing aids.
  • Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear where sound waves are not able to carry all the way through to the inner ear. Sound may be blocked by earwax or a foreign object in the ear canal, the middle ear may be impacted by fluid and infection, or the eardrum may have been injured. For some people, it may be reversed through medical or surgical intervention. Otherwise, hearing aid use may be recommended.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

Additional Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:

  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty hearing when there is noise in the background
  • Difficulty following a conversation when two or more people talk at once
  • Finding that most people seem to mumble or not speak clearly
  • Misunderstanding what others say and responding inappropriately
  • Difficulty understanding the speech of women and children
  • Turning the TV volume up too loud
  • Frequently hearing ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds
  • Finding that some sounds seem too loud or too soft

If three or more of these apply to you, it is a good idea to have your hearing checked

Hearing Specialist Colorado Springs

Aside from Age-Induced hearing loss, which typically occurs gradually over time, there are three basic categories that describe most cases of hearing loss including:

Conductive Hearing Loss:

Conductive hearing loss happens when there is a problem conducting sound waves along the route through the outer ear to the eardrum and the tiny bones called ossicles in the middle ear. This effects the ability to hear faint sounds, and can often be corrected medically, or with surgery.

Conductive hearing loss causes include:

  • Fluid build-up in the middle ear
  • Ear infections
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Earwax that has gotten impacted
  • A foreign object
  • Malformation of the outer ear or ear canal

Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

Sensorineural hearing loss happens when there is damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This is the most common form of permanent hearing loss. The damage cannot be corrected with surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss causes include:

  • Birth Defects
  • Virus
  • Head Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Noise-induced Damage
  • Exposure to drugs that are toxic to hearing

Mixed Hearing Loss:

This describes a situation when a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with sensorineural hearing loss. This is caused by damage to the outer, middle, or inner ear or auditory nerve itself, hearing loss is mixed, as the patient displays symptoms and characteristics from both types of hearing loss.

Hearing Tests and Evaluations

Adults and children are affected by hearing loss. Because hearing loss often occurs gradually, many individuals don’t realize they have it until the conditions has become more severe. If you think you may have hearing loss, it’s important to schedule an appointment to have a hearing test conducted. You need to know how much hearing loss you have and the specifics so that we can choose the most appropriate hearing aids, and the audiologist can adjust them to suit your needs.

Physical Examination

Our audiologists will look at the physical appearance of your ears and the functioning of your middle and inner ear. They check for damage, abnormalities and the health of your ear canal and eardrum. They also look at how the light reflects off your eardrum to see if it’s health.

Speech Comprehension Testing

Another important test that your audiologist may perform is to test how well you understand speech in a quiet environment and with background noise. You will be asked to repeat words and phrases to see if you understand what is being said. This helps identify which sounds that aren’t being heard.

Comprehensive Audiologic Evaluations

Colorado ENT gives comprehensive audiologic evaluations to learn the necessary information about possible hearing loss. A hearing test provides a great deal of information to our audiologists. The results of the hearing test will determine if you do in fact have hearing loss, the severity and which pitches and tones you struggle to hear. Your audiologist may conduct the following hearing tests:

  • Pure-tone testing
  • Middle ear impedance testing
  • Speech understanding in quiet and in noise
  • Otoacoustic emissions

There are many different hearing tests and your Colorado audiologist will conduct the hearing tests that they feel will be most effective to get answers about your condition.

Otoacoustic Emissions Testing

When testing for otoacoustic emissions or OAEs, sound vibrations are sent through the patient’s middle ear, ear canal and outer hair cells of the cochlear in the inner ear. An ear with normal hearing produces an echo in response to low-intensity sounds. Therefore, audiologists measure OAEs. The test is painless, short and provides us immediate results. Patients can relax during the test since it is non-interactive. All the relevant information is available on screen for the test giver to see. For infants, it is a standard part of the newborn hearing screening program.

Treatments for Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids

Our audiologists have the expertise and experience to find the right instruments for your hearing needs. We fit state-of-the art digital hearing aids from a variety of manufacturers and will work closely with you to ensure you are provided with the best devices and are able to use them with ease.

Cochlear Implants

When hearing loss reaches a degree where hearing aids no longer provide adequate benefit, a cochlear implant may be indicated. Our specialists can determine if you are a candidate for an implant and provide the support services required to use the implant with success.

Balance and Dizziness

Dizziness, vertigo and imbalance are some of the most common reasons a person sees their doctor. Causes of these conditions include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): a common condition where sense crystals become detached from their place in the inner ear balance organ and cause brief bouts of spinning sensation when certain movements are made.
  • Inner ear infections: an inflammation of the balance organ of the inner ear that can cause temporary or lasting vertigo and balance problems.
  • Meniere’s Disease: an inner ear disease characterized by episodes of spinning vertigo, ear fullness, fluctuating hearing loss and a roaring sound in the affected ear.
  • Tumors of the auditory nerve or brainstem
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Circulatory conditions
  • Migraines
  • Medications: some medications have dizziness as a potential side effect

Our specialists diagnose and treat a wide variety of ear and balance disorders and can assess your condition with a number of diagnostic tests. If you are having ears or hearing issues and need an Audiologist, make an appointment today at one of our convenient locations.

Hearing Aids Colorado Springs

For Hearing Aids in Colorado Springs, turn to the Ears and Hearing Center of Excellence at Colorado ENT & Allergy.

The audiologists at Colorado ENT & Allergy have the expertise and experience to find the right hearing aids for your hearing needs.

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