FAQ

Additional information on
hearing loss, tinnitus, and hearing health.

Hearing FAQs

Yes, there are three main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and occurs when there is damage to the cochlear in the inner ear or damage to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. The most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is age, but it can also be caused by genetics, underlying health conditions, and loud noise exposure.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sounds cannot be conducted through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. Causes include impacted earwax, ear infection, ruptured eardrum, fluid in the middle ear, or trauma to the ear. Conductive hearing loss treatment includes antibiotics or surgery by a medical professional.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive. To treat this kind of hearing loss, the conductive portion would need to be addressed by a medical professional and the sensorineural portion can be managed with hearing aids.

If you hear a thumping sound in your ear, you may have tinnitus. Thumping, ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in the ear are symptoms of tinnitus. If tinnitus is bothering you, contact our hearing clinic. We carry special tinnitus masking hearing aids that can help distract your brain from the annoying thumping in your ears.

Unfortunately there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are management options that can help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus.

Yes, there are certain medications that can cause hearing loss. These are known as ototoxic medications. An ototoxic drug list includes:

  • Aspirin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Loop diuretics
  • Chemotherapy and certain cancer medicines

Tinnitus can range in severity and differs from person to person. Often times, tinnitus only lasts for a few seconds then disappears. For others though they may experience tinnitus constantly. No matter how you experience tinnitus, if the ringing in your ears is disrupting your quality of life, we can help.   

Yes, ear infections can affect your hearing ability. Muffled hearing due to an ear infection is known as conductive hearing loss. If you have an ear infection and can’t hear well, you will need to see a physician to prescribe antibiotics. This should restore your hearing ability.

Balance FAQs

If you experience regular feelings of dizziness, vertigo, falling, feeling as if you are going to fall, or a spinning sensation, then you may have a balance disorder. We offer diagnostic balance testing and can help you feel steady on your feet again if a balance disorder is present.

Balance problems can be caused by many factors, including:

  • Certain medications
  • Ear infection
  • Head or ear injuries
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Acoustic neuromas and other brain tumors

If after testing, a balance disorder is diagnosed, there are certain lifestyles changes that are recommended to help prevent falls and episodes of dizziness. These include diet changes, increased hydration, and exercise. There are also medications that can be prescribed to help with symptoms of vertigo. If you have a balance disorder along with hearing loss, then hearing aids can also be beneficial.

While hearing loss and vertigo can be experienced in conjunction, they are not necessarily related. You can have hearing loss without ever having symptoms of vertigo and vice versa. The reason people may experience vertigo and hearing loss together is because of the proximity of the hearing nerve to our sense of balance, which both come from the cochlea of the inner ear.

There are a few different types of balance tests offered at New River Valley Hearing. Each test helps our specialists determine what has caused your balance issues and what the best treatment plan is. The tests will combine looking at the function of your hearing nerve as well as comparing eye movement speed to assess the vestibulo-ocular reflex. Schedule a test at our Radford or Floyd office today!