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Hearing problems and solutions
Published on: Sunday, August 20, 2017

Penampang: Hearing problems should be referred to specialist doctors for treatment as soon as possible to avoid total hearing loss, said Dr Chong Hon Syn, Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon of KPJ Hospital.

He is also a Sialoendoscopist, a specialist in minor surgical treatment of salivary gland disorders.

Giving a talk to seniors, here, he said hearing loss due to accidents may be fixed by delicate high-technology operations only if the ear organ cochlea and the nerves are not damaged.

The main cause of hearing problems are working in noisy environment without ear protection, not keeping the ear dry causing infections and non-cancerous brain tumour which afflicts one in 1,000 people.

Tumour in the brain, which presses on hearing nerves, causes the patient to hear ringing sound and results in dizziness. There is no choice but to conduct operation in this case.

Dr Chong said the common diagnosis for hearing problem is the audiometric test that measures both frequency and volume response of the ear.

However, for patients who may not give the accurate response during the test or babies, then a more expensive test can be used, which is "wired to computer", that can measure the brain response to the sound.

"No one can cheat in this test," said Dr Chong.

Regarding treatment, infection can be treated with antibiotic drops applied to the ear or orally taken while serious infection may require operation.

He strongly advised patients against using crude implements to clear out ear wax.

Vitamins to assist the hearing nerves can only be given through prescription as these are controlled items.

Hearing aids are the easiest solution especially to the elderly whose hearing is not totally lost.

Patients who dislike the wearable behind the ear can opt for other types such as inside ear, inside canal and mini aids.

High-tech aids include delicate implants to cochlea or near brain nerves.

Dr Chong concluded that when every type of hearing aids cannot help, the last resort is sign languages where different systems can be found. For example, Malaysian sign language is definitely different from the West.

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