Hearing Loss (cont.)
- If a foreign body is found in the ear canal, the doctor will try to take it out.
- If the wax is too hard to remove, the doctor may prescribe softening drops (also available over-the-counter) and have you return in a week to try to remove it again.
- If infection is found, antibiotics will most likely be prescribed. Middle ear infections usually require pills, while infections of the ear canal can usually be treated with eardrops.
- If the eardrum is perforated from an injury, no medicines will usually be prescribed. A follow-up visit with the same doctor or an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist or ENT) will be suggested. Eardrum perforation from an infection is usually treated with antibiotics.
- If a problem is suspected with the bones of the middle ear or nerves, a referral will likely be made to a specialist such as an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
- If the cause of the hearing loss is due to medications, the medication will be stopped or changed.
- If there is a tumor, such as an acoustic neuroma, a referral to a neurosurgeon (a surgeon specializing in brain, spinal cord, or nerve surgery) or ear, nose, and throat specialist will be made.
- If associated symptoms are troublesome (tinnitus, vertigo), anti-anxiety or motion sickness medication may be prescribed.
- If Ménière disease is the suspected cause, antihistamines or nicotinic acid can sometimes be helpful. A low-salt diet may also be suggested.
- Most causes of hearing loss do not require admission to the hospital.
Angelique S Kelly Campen, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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