Sound passes down the ear canal to reach the eardrum. The sound waves then move the eardrum in and out. There are three bones called the Malleus, Incus and Stapes (ossicles) that connect the eardrum across the middle ear space to the inner ear (cochlea). Within the cochlea the sound waves are converted to nerve impulses that carry the sound to the auditory centres of the brain.
Hearing losses can result from problems anywhere along this pathway. There are two main types of hearing losses.
CHL occurs with any problem that prevents conduction of sound to the cochlea including;
The overall hearing loss is usually only mild to moderate. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and frequently can be improved with surgical intervention.
If the cause can't be reversed then most people will do very well with a conventional hearing aid. In certain situations implanted bone conduction hearing aids can also be considered.
Sensori-neural hearing losses occur with disorders that affect the cochlea or the nerve from the cochlea to the brain. There are many causes of SNHL. Some of the more common ones include;
There are many other rarer causes.
Rapidly progressive, sudden or asymmetrical SNHL needs investigation.
SNHL range from the very mild to complete hearing loss. Most mild to moderate cases do very well with conventional hearing aids. More severe cases my benefit from Cochlear implantation.
Current recommendations from the Royal Australian College of Surgeons
All new patients must send in a referral before an appointment will be offered
We would request that all our patients comply with the following:
We will endeavour to provide medical care for urgent problems but please understand all staff are exposing themselves to risk by providing these services and we require your cooperation and understanding.
During this time of markedly reduced services Dr. Varley’s standard fees will apply and are those recommended by the AMA.