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Hearing loss is a common complaint seen in our ENT clinic. It can occur at all ages and causes vary.

Causes: Children
  1. Congenital hearing loss (born with hearing loss)
  2. Ear Wax
    1. With excessive ear digging, ear wax is pushed deep into the ear canal, impacting it and causing pain and hearing loss
  3. Ear Infections
    1. Often associated with injury to the ear canal skin (e.g. cotton buds) or if the ear is persistently wet (e.g. swimmers)
    2. Can be bacterial or fungal
    3. Treated with the cleaning of the ear with a microscope, and antibiotic eardrops
  4. Glue Ears
    1. Caused by the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear, often after a cold or nasal allergy
    2. Most children recover spontaneously from glue ears
    3. However, if it is persistent, surgery may be required to drain the fluid and insert a small ventilation tube in order to equalise the pressure
Causes: Adults
  1. Noise induced hearing loss
  2. Age related degeneration
  3. Ear wax
  4. Holes in the eardrum
  5. Ear infections
  6. Glue ears
  7. Sudden hearing loss
Types of Hearing Loss
  1. Conductive Hearing Loss
    1. A disease in the external ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear can prevent the normal transmission of sound to the inner ear
    2. The patient may complain that sounds are muffled, or that there is an "echo" in the affected ear and his own voice may seem louder than normal.
    3. E.g. impacted earwax, external and middle ear infections, eardrum perforations and fluid in the middle ear
  2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
    1. Involves the nerves that transmit sound in the form of electrical signals to the brain
    2. Patients may complain of an inability to hear a conversation, especially with background noise.
    3. They have difficulty discriminating words and often misinterpreting what’s being said
    4. E.g. deafness, presbyacusis (degeneration of the hearing organ from aging), viral infections of the cochlear and auditory nerve, and tumours along the path of the auditory nerve
Know Your ENT Specialist
Dr Paul Mok
Senior Consultant ENT Surgeon
MBBS, FRCS (Glasgow), FAMS (ORL)

Dr Paul Mok Kan Hwei is a certified specialist in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) and has had a distinguished career in public service for the past 23 years.

He cares for patients with a wide variety of ENT conditions including managing patients with nasal allergies, sinus infections, ear problems and swellings in the head and neck region. His special areas of interests are in Voice, Swallowing and managing patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.