Travel Frequently? Don't Wait to Visit the Doctor

« Back to Home

Do You Need Hearing Aids? How An ENT Determines That You Don't Have A Hearing Problem

Posted on

Being told by your general physician that you need hearing aids is something most older adults do not want to hear. You may ask for a referral to specialists, such as an audiologist, or an ENT specialist. You might be thinking now that an ENT specialist does not have anything to do with the hearing loss determination process, but actually he/she does. There are tests that the ENT can do to rule out medical conditions that would cause you to hear less than you should. Here is how an ENT determines if you need hearing aids or not.

Checking Your Sinuses

​Wait, what would sinuses have to do with hearing? Actually, the answer may surprise you. Human sinus cavities are located in the nose, behind the nose, under and over the eye sockets and close to your inner ears. When the sinuses are badly swollen, they can apply pressure to the inner ear components, blocking one's ability to hear clearly.

An ENT checks these sinus cavities and sinuses through scopes and scans to see if a lot of swelling is present. If swelling is present, the ENT can offer treatments to reduce the swelling and find the cause of the swelling. If you can hear better after the swelling has been reduced or eradicated, then the problem with your hearing is solved. If you still cannot hear well while your sinus issues are treated, then the ENT can look for other reasons. 

Checking Your Ears

​Conditions of the inner ears are not always so easily detected by an otoscope in the doctor's office. In fact, many children end up with fluid in their ears when they lie down, but when they are sitting up, that fluid is not detected. An ENT can perform an inner ear test to see if you have excess fluid in your ears, and determine why this fluid is not draining down the back of your throat like all other head fluids. It is rare, but adults with fluid in their ears can have tubes surgically inserted. When they do, they immediately hear a lot better and a lot clearer. 

Checking Your Throat

​The good doctor would not be a thorough ENT specialist if they did not check your throat as well. Sometimes the adenoids or tonsils can swell for no reason at all, and that also can impact your hearing. Healing the infection or reducing the swelling can help your hearing return. If the ENT finds none​ of the above situations, it may just be your time for hearing aids. 

Contact a doctor, like Mark Montgomery MD FACS, for more help.