Signs that you may need a hearing evaluation:

1. Problems hearing over the telephone.

2. Trouble following conversations when two or more people speak at once.

3. Trouble following conversations in a setting with a noisy background.

4. Confusion about where sounds are located.

5. Having to ask people to repeat themselves.

6. Problems hearing or understanding speech of children or women.

7. Most people seem to mumble or not speak clearly.

8. Problems with misunderstanding others and making inappropriate responses.

9. Others notice that television volume is high.

10. Missing sounds of telephone or doorbell ringing.

11. Avoiding activities because of problems with hearing and understanding speech.

Audiology is the testing and management of hearing and balance problems in people of all ages. It also involves the fitting and management of hearing aids and other hearing assistive devices.

The specialist who practices audiology is called an audiologist. Audiologists are medical professionals who have advanced degrees in Audiology.

Cochlear implant surgery is done in a hospital or clinic. The surgery lasts 2 to 4 hours. You are given medicine (general anesthesia) to make you sleep during the procedure.

1. The surgeon makes a cut behind the ear to open up the mastoid bone.

2. Then the surgeon makes a small cut in the cochlea. He or she inserts the implant electrodes into the cochlea.

3. The surgeon places an electronic device called the receiver under the skin behind the ear.

4. The incisions are then closed and you will be moved into the recovery area and watched closely.

A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid. A hearing aid makes sounds louder and helps someone who has some hearing loss. But a cochlear implant can help a person with very little or no hearing (partial or complete deafness).

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (nerve for hearing). It has two parts. One part sits behind the ear. It picks up sounds with a microphone. It then processes the sound and transmits it to the second part of the implant. The second part is put through the skin and implanted in the inner ear during a surgery. A thin wire and small electrodes leads to the cochlea, which is part of the inner ear. The wire sends signals to the auditory nerve. This is the nerve that sends sound impulses to the brain.

Hearing aids can help improve hearing and speech especially in people who have sensorineural hearing loss (hearing loss in the inner ear due to damaged hair cells or a damaged hearing nerve). Different types of hearing aids:

1. In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.

2. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.

3. Canal aids.

4. Body aids.

The word vertigo comes from the Latin verb “to turn.” Individuals with vertigo often say that they or their surroundings are turning or spinning. Vertigo is often due to an inner ear problem.

In most cases, swabbing the opening of the ear canal with the corner of a twisted damp washcloth will remove excessive ear wax. Avoid too much moisture or going too deep since prolonged moisture in the ear canal can lead to an infection. Probing with bobby pins, match sticks, Q-tips, etc. is strongly discouraged.

Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.