Hearing Loss & Audiology

Lloyd M. Loft, MD, FACS -  - ENT Physician

Lloyd M. Loft, MD, FACS

Ear, Nose, & Throat Physician & Sinus Surgeon located in Upper East Side/Midtown East, New York, NY

More than 35 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. A gradual decline in hearing as you get older is a natural consequence of aging. However, many children and young adults have hearing loss from a variety of causes. If you’re concerned about your hearing, contact Lloyd Loft, MD, FACS, for a comprehensive hearing evaluation at his office located in the Upper East Side, Midtown East, New York City. Dr. Loft provides comprehensive audiology services, including audiograms (hearing tests), hearing aids, and custom ear molds for noise and music sound protection. Call the office of ENT physician Lloyd Loft, MD, FACS, or schedule a hearing loss and audiology consultation online today for expert evaluation and treatment.

Hearing Loss & Audiology Q & A

What causes hearing loss?

The ear is a complex and delicate organ that's perfectly evolved to provide the sense of hearing. Hearing begins when sound waves are captured by the pinna (the visible part of your external ear) and funneled down your ear canal until they reach your eardrum and cause it to vibrate. The vibration of the eardrum is amplified through the middle ear space by three small bones called ossicles. The sound vibrations continue to pass into the inner ear, where specialized nerve cells in the cochlea translate those vibrations into electrical signals that are transmitted to your brain through the auditory nerve.

Hearing loss can occur if there is a problem or abnormality in any part of this process. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by problems with your ear canal, eardrum, and the   three small bones within the middle ear cavity. Sensorineural hearing loss, also known as nerve damage, is related to problems with the inner ear and cochlea. Mixed hearing loss occurs from a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss. 

 Common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Cerumen impaction (ear wax blockage)
  • Perforated eardrum (ruptured eardrum) 
  • Ear infections
  • Middle ear effusion (fluid)
  • Hearing loss from aging (presbycusis)
  • Noise-induced hearing loss  
  • Otosclerosis 
  • Meniere's Disease 
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Head or ear trauma

What are the signs of hearing loss?

Since hearing loss often develops gradually, many people may actually not be aware that they have mild to moderate degrees of hearing impairment. Hearing loss that occurs suddenly, like with an infection, wax impaction, or loud noise exposure is usually noticed right away.  

Symptoms of hearing loss often include: 

  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Missing words or misperceiving what someone said
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • A blocked or clogged sensation in the ears
  • Trouble hearing in background noise
  • Turning up the volume on your television
  • Difficulty hearing using a phone 

If you’re having any difficulty hearing and would like further evaluation, contact Dr. Loft for an exam and hearing test. 

What are the available types of hearing tests?

Dr. Loft provides a variety of tests to thoroughly assess your hearing. These include pure tone audiograms, speech testing, tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing, and otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE’s). Pure tone and speech audiometry provide information on how well you hear specific frequencies and about the type and degree of your hearing loss. Otoacoustic emission and acoustic reflex testing assess your inner ear function or your auditory brainstem response to see how well your auditory brain pathways are working. 

How is hearing loss treated?

ENT’s are trained in the medical and surgical treatment of ear infections and hearing loss. After a thorough evaluation and diagnosis, Dr. Loft can provide a wide variety of treatments, depending upon the cause of your hearing loss. 

Common treatments for hearing loss include:

  •  Removal of ear wax
  • Antibiotics or ear drops for infection
  • Ear surgery for chronic infections, cholesteatoma or ear tumors
  • In the canal hearing aids (OTC) 
  • In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE)
  • Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE)

Dr. Loft will provide comprehensive information about your hearing loss so that you can choose the best treatment or hearing aid for your needs and lifestyle. In cases of profound hearing loss, Dr. Loft may recommend referral to a cochlear implant center. Dr. Loft also offers custom ear molds for noise and water protection. 

Call Lloyd Loft, MD, FACS, or make an appointment online today for complete evaluation and treatment of your hearing loss.