Accessibility Tools
Hearing Loss

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is the condition of being unable to hear partially or completely. It may be present from birth or occur gradually over time and may occur in one or both ears at the same time.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Damage to the inner ear
  • Gradual buildup of earwax
  • Abnormal bone growth or tumors
  • Ear infections
  • Ruptured eardrum 
  • Damaged hair cells in the cochlea (part of the inner ear)

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:

  • Difficulty in understanding words, especially amid background noise or in a crowd
  • Trouble hearing consonants
  • Regularly asking people to repeat everything at a slow pace or loudly
  • Having ear pain along with hearing problems

Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

The doctor will assess the symptoms and causes of your hearing loss, such as earwax or inflammation from an infection, and will look for the presence of any structural damages that may be the cause of your hearing defect.

Other general tests include:

  • Whisper test: In this test, the doctor will ask you to cover one ear at a time to see how well you hear words spoken at various volumes and how you respond to other sounds. 
  • Tuning fork tests: This test can help the doctor to detect hearing loss and pinpoint the location of any damage to your ear.
  • Audiometer tests: In this test, you will wear earphones and listen for sounds and words directed into each ear. Each tone will be repeated at different decibel levels and at different frequencies to identify the range of sounds you can hear.

Treatment for Hearing Loss

Treatments for hearing loss include:

  • Removing wax blockage: Your doctor may remove built-up earwax using suction or a small tool with a loop on the end.
  • Surgical procedures: Surgery is effective for some forms of hearing disorders such as conditions caused by abnormalities of the eardrum or the tiny bones behind it. 
  • Hearing aids: Hearing aids can be helpful for hearing loss caused by a damaged inner ear. You will be provided with instructions and benefits of the device by your audiologist. 
  • Cochlear implants: If you have severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be an option. This implant bypasses the damaged or non-working parts of your inner ear, directly stimulating the auditory nerve. 


  • Regular hearing tests are recommended for people who spend time in noisy environments.
  • Safety equipment like earplugs should be used by people with regular exposure to very loud noises. 
  • Prolonged and continuous exposure to loud sounds or music should be avoided.

Location & DirectionsENT Jacksonville

1370 13th Avenue South, Suite 115 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

  • American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Miller School of Medicine