If you are currently experiencing some hearing loss, you may think it is finally time to get hearing aids. Most people mistake hearing deficiencies in their later years with other problems they may not have been aware they even had. Most of these problems are physical abnormalities or health issues that, regardless of whether or not you have hearing aids, will still affect your ability to hear. A visit to the ENT specialist can help in the following ways.
Malformed Eustachian Tubes
The Eustachian tubes in your ears are the tubes that lead the almost horizontal outer canals into a downward vertical into the back of your throat. Some people have malformed Eustachian tubes that, instead of bending and dipping downward into the throat, are actually almost completely horizontal. This becomes a problem when your ears are trying to empty of excess fluid and the fluid cannot flow down the back of your throat but is trapped in the middle ear. An ENT specialist (such as one from Clarity & Comfort Hearing Center) can use a lighted scope to discover the misshapen Eustachian tubes and use surgery to correct the problem if it is severe enough to prevent adequate hearing.
When your sinuses are chronically swollen and/or blocked, it can prevent you from hearing properly. Sometimes patients are unaware that they have sinusitis, especially if their nasal passages are open and allow them to breathe freely. What they do not know is that there are other sinuses in the human head that lie close to the inner ear, and when these sinuses are swollen, this condition affects your ability to hear too. It is that "blocked ear" feeling you get when you have a very bad cold, only there are no indicators that you have a sinus problem otherwise. After an ENT has diagnosed the problem, it can be treated with nasal sprays or medicines, and then your hearing aids will work quite well.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
There are several lymph nodes in the face, head, and neck. When these glands swell due to infection, lymph edema, disease or cancer, they can block off your ability to hear. If you cannot shake the infection on your own or with antibiotics, it may be something more serious. Again, some people are not aware of any other health issues because some lymph nodes are deep within the head and nothing is visible to the human eye. An MRI or CT scan will help find the lymph node problems and help you get relief through whatever means is applicable. Once the affected lymph nodes are treated and are no longer swollen, your hearing aids will work perfectly.