Hearing Loss Specialist

Bayou ENT

Otolaryngologists located in New Iberia, LA

Hearing loss gradually occurs as you get older, but this problem can develop at any age. Permanent noise-induced hearing loss occurs in 13% of children and teens. At Bayou ENT, Chris Gaffga, MD, and Jamie Guillot, APRN, offer comprehensive care for hearing problems, including thorough hearing evaluations, treatment for ear conditions, and hearing aids. If you struggle to follow conversations or you are in an environment with loud sounds (including music), it’s time to schedule a hearing test. Call the office in New Iberia, Louisiana, or book an appointment online today.

Hearing Loss Q & A

What causes hearing loss?

The cause depends on the type of hearing loss:

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss develops when a problem in your outer or middle ear prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear. This type of hearing loss often occurs due to one of the following:

  • Impacted earwax
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Outer or middle ear infections
  • Bone damage in the middle ear

If you have conductive hearing loss, your hearing should return after Bayou ENT treats the underlying problem.

Sensorineural hearing loss

This type of hearing loss occurs when the auditory nerve or sensory cells in the inner ear become damaged. Sensory cells convert sound waves into electrical signals. Those signals travel through the auditory nerve to your brain.

The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • Aging
  • Loud sounds
  • Certain illnesses
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Otosclerosis

Damaged sensory cells and nerves result in permanent hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss refers to people who have conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

How is hearing loss diagnosed?

Bayou ENT first examines your ear canal and eardrum to identify visible problems that could contribute to hearing loss. Then they complete a hearing evaluation (audiological exam) to determine the type and extent of your hearing loss.

Hearing evaluations include one or more of the following tests:

  • Pure tone testing
  • Speech testing
  • Tuning fork test
  • Tympanometry
  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Acoustic reflex measures
  • Otoacoustic emissions

Your hearing assessment starts with the basics, such as pure tone and speech testing. Pure tone testing determines the quietest sounds you can hear, while speech testing shows how well you hear spoken words. Your provider may do additional tests, depending on the results.

How is hearing loss treated?

If you have conductive hearing loss, Bayou ENT treats the problem. For other hearing problems, your provider may recommend: 

Noise protection

Loud sounds harm your sensory cells. Customized earmolds protect your hearing by filtering out damaging sounds. 

Hearing aids

Hearing aids pick up and magnify sound. Your hearing aid may also filter out specific sounds that affect your hearing, such as background noise. You can choose from a standard behind-the-ear model to a tiny hearing aid that’s virtually invisible because it fits in your ear canal.

If you have signs of hearing loss, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call Bayou ENT or schedule an appointment online today.