Hearing Loss Specialist

Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A -  - Audiology

South Bay Hearing and Balance

Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A

Audiology located in Chula Vista, CA

Hearing loss is a common problem as you get older, but people of every age can lose part or all of their hearing. Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A, and the team at South Bay Hearing and Balance have extensive experience performing hearing evaluations and identifying the type of hearing loss. Then they provide customized treatment if possible or help you find a hearing aid that works for your unique hearing problem. At the first sign of hearing loss, schedule an appointment by calling the office in Chula Vista, California, or using the online booking feature.

Hearing Loss Q & A

What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss develops from different causes, depending on whether you have conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, or both, which is called mixed hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss

This type of hearing loss develops when a problem in your outer or middle ear prevents sound waves from reaching your inner ear. Conductive hearing loss most often occurs due to:

  • Impacted earwax
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Excess fluid in the middle ear
  • Outer or middle ear infections
  • Bone damage in the middle ear

Most people regain their hearing after treating the underlying problem.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs with damage to the sensory cells or the auditory nerve. Specialized cells in your inner ear turn sound waves into electrical signals, then the signals travel through the auditory nerve to your brain. 

When damaged, these structures stop functioning, which results in permanent hearing loss. The following problems cause sensorineural hearing loss:

  • Aging
  • Loud sounds
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses
  • Medications
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Otosclerosis

The top causes of hearing loss are aging and exposure to loud sounds.

How is hearing loss diagnosed?

The team at South Bay Hearing and Balance diagnoses hearing loss through a comprehensive hearing evaluation called an audiological exam. Your provider examines your ear and conducts a hearing test that includes one or more of the following:

  • Pure tone test
  • Bone conduction test
  • Tuning fork test
  • Speech and word recognition
  • Tympanometry test
  • Auditory brainstem response test
  • Acoustic reflex measures

Your provider only performs the tests you need based on the severity of your hearing loss and the underlying cause.

How is hearing loss treated?

Your treatment depends on the type and cause of your hearing loss. If you have conductive hearing loss, your provider treats the problem. For example, they can easily resolve impacted earwax with an ear cleaning or treat an ear infection.

If you have permanent hearing loss, they prescribe an assistive listening device such as an amplified phone or hearing aid. An earmold can also help prevent further hearing loss if loud noises contribute to the problem. 

The team at South Bay Hearing and Balance offers all the different brands and styles of hearing aids and helps you choose the one that works for your hearing needs.

If you notice any change in your hearing, no matter how small it seems, don’t wait to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. Call the office or use the online booking feature today.