Hearing loss and related ear problems can have devastating effects on your quality of life, both professionally and personally. That’s why symptoms such as dizziness, ear wax buildup, and tinnitus should never be ignored.
At Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Sewell, New Jersey, our audiology experts work closely with highly trained physicians to treat a wide array of hearing-related conditions. The most common conditions our ear doctors treat include hearing loss, ear fullness, ear wax accumulation, tinnitus, dizziness, and severe ear infections.
Our Sewell Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy audiologists specialize in hearing concerns. In partnership with our ENT team, our patients are afforded personalized treatment options in the most professional, friendly, and secure way possible.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss refers to a diminished responsiveness to sounds. You may begin to experience muffling of sounds and speech, have a hard time understanding words, especially in crowded spaces, need people to repeat their words, or find yourself constantly turning up the radio and TV volume to hear more clearly.
The hearing process is enabled by the outer, middle, and inner ears, plus the auditory neural pathway, forming a complete system. When the system suffers a problem at any point, hearing loss may arise.
In the US alone, hearing loss affects more than 30 million people. The most affected age group is those 65 years and older, but anyone, including children, can suffer from hearing loss.
Generally, hearing deteriorates over time. Hearing loss may be aggravated by factors such as excessive noise exposure and can also occur due to a medication or disease side effect.
What Are the Types of Hearing Loss?
Depending on the part of the auditory system that is affected, hearing loss may be classified as sensorineural, conductive, or mixed.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Results from severe damage of the brain’s or inner ear’s nerves. May be caused by aging, head trauma, genetics, or prolonged exposure to loud noises.
Since this type of hearing loss cannot be treated through surgery or medication, our audiology team will usually recommend hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
This refers to the inability of the inner ear to capture the original volume of sounds entering the ear. This means that the volume of sound diminishes as it approaches the inner ear. May result from ear infections, a pierced eardrum, a tumor, or the presence of foreign objects in the ear.
Treatment of the underlying cause can be administered through surgery or medication, allowing the hearing to be restored.
Mixed hearing loss
A hybrid of both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. The damage may affect the inner, middle, and outer ears.
How Can You Tell If You Have Hearing Loss?
As it is a gradual process, hearing loss may happen without your awareness. The people closest to you may be the first to notice your hearing loss. This is especially likely if you keep making them speak louder than usual or frequently repeat what they just said.
Common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Instances of constant ringing in the ears
- Problems understanding words in crowded spaces
- Constantly needing to raise the TV or radio volume
- Hearing the speech of men better than children’s and women’s speech
- Regularly requesting people to repeat their words or sentences
- Hypersensitivity to noisy environments
Should you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate help from an ear doctor. Early treatments have a much higher success rate.
Ideal Candidates for a Hearing Test
A hearing test is a relatively brief process. Our hearing doctors recommend regular hearing tests for routine ear care. The test involves a quick ear examination, evaluation of results, and a recommendation of the best treatment option or hearing loss prevention plan.
Hearing tests have no age brackets. Our ear doctors recommend them for patients of all ages. However, they tend to be more important for older individuals.
The Audiological Evaluation Process
Audiological evaluations at Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy, Sewell are simple and totally painless.
Our audiology team starts off the process with a brief hearing loss interview. They will seek to establish when you first noticed your hearing loss, the most affected ear, additional symptoms, the extent of loud noise exposure, your current medications, and any genetics-related hearing loss factors.
Following this thorough interview, our hearing doctor will then perform a quick ear examination to dismiss any functional factors that may be causing your symptoms. The next phase will involve deeper assessments.
The first assessment involves an automatic test performed by a computer for each ear. It targets middle ear testing and otoacoustic emissions.
The actual hearing test then follows. The patient is placed inside a soundproof listening room. With the use of earphones and zero environmental sounds, the patient can identify clearly the response of their ears to different conditions. Detecting the actual hearing loss symptoms is much simpler this way.
This test involves speech testing and pure tones. The pure tones test the patient’s detection of pulsed tones. In the speech test, the patient is required to repeat soft words spoken by the ear doctor.
Our audiology team always ensures these assessments are as user-friendly as possible for the best diagnostic outcomes. After the testing, the hearing doctor will analyze the results and discuss their recommendations with the patient.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Almost all hearing loss complications can be treated to a certain extent. Even for those that can’t be fixed, like inner hearing loss, there are available options to enhance the patient’s ability to hear.
Some of the treatment options our hearing doctors routinely recommend include:
- Use of hearing aids
- Direct extraction of impacted earwax
- Placement of cochlear implants to channel sound to the auditory nerve
- Prescription medication for ear conditions like ear infections
- Reconstructive surgery for traumatic injuries
Hearing loss FAQs
Tinnitus is a constant buzzing or ringing sound in the ear. The ear perceives the presence of sound even in the absence of an actual sound source.
They only assist in the hearing process. They make it easier to hear sounds but cannot fully restore the natural functionality of your ears.
Hearing aids do not stop the advancement of hearing loss over time. Ask your audiologist about preventative measures you can take to preserve your hearing.
Earwax can be manually removed using a wax loop, by flushing out the ear using pressurized water, or through a direct suction process.
An audiologist is a healthcare specialist who evaluates, diagnoses, treats, and manages hearing loss and balance complications in patients of all ages. They are responsible for recommending the best treatment option for any given hearing impairment.
Such emergencies should be attended to immediately by an ENT specialist. These specialists will initiate a diagnosis and treatment process.
Directions to Our Sewell, NJ Facility
To get to our Sewell Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy office located at 570 Egg Harbor Road Suite B-2 Sewell, NJ 08080, take the following routes:
From Tall Pine State Reserve
- Travel east on Bark Bridge Road toward Indiana Trail.
- Turn right on Egg Harbor Road.
- Turn left at Kings Way E and right again 200 feet ahead.
- Turn left again after 150 feet to reach the office.
- Drive north on County Rd 553 Alt/N Main St toward College Ave.
- Turn right on West St.
- One mile down the road, turn left on Delsea Dr.
- Turn right again on Fish Pond Rd after 3.2 miles.
- Turn left on Hurffville-Cross Keys Rd.
- Turn right again 2 miles down on Egg Harbor Rd.
- 200 feet down the road, turn right.
- After 150 feet, turn left to reach the office.
Schedule an audiology consultation
To schedule a consultation with our hearing doctors, call 856-497-7974 or request an online appointment. Our highly-trained audiology team is always armed with the right treatment solutions for your hearing-related complications.
To find us in New Jersey, call 856-497-7974 or visit our facility located at 570 Egg Harbor Road Suite B-2 Sewell, NJ 08080. Our Sewell offices are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit us for comprehensive ear care packages.