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Ear Problems Specialist

Paul E. Lapco, MD

Otolaryngologist located in Pompano Beach, FL

Ear problems run the gamut from infections and ringing in your ear to permanent hearing loss. At Dr. Paul Lapco, ENT, in Pompano Beach, Florida, patients receive exceptional care for every type of ear problem they might develop. Paul Lapco, MD, provides personalized attention and comprehensive care, from a prompt diagnosis to today’s most advanced treatment options. If you need help for an ear problem, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Ear Problems Q&A

What causes hearing loss?

Dr. Lapco performs hearing evaluations, provides treatment when possible, and helps you choose a hearing aid for permanent hearing loss.

The cause of your hearing loss depends on the type:

Conductive hearing loss

This type of hearing loss occurs when a condition in your outer or middle ear stops sound waves from reaching your inner ear. Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems such as:

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

Your hearing should return after Dr. Lapco identifies and treats the source of the problem.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when your auditory nerve or sensory cells in your inner ear are damaged. Sensory cells convert sound waves into electrical signals that travel through the auditory nerve to your brain.

The top causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • Aging
  • Loud sounds
  • Certain illnesses
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Mèniére’s disease
  • Otosclerosis

When sensory cells or the auditory nerve become damaged, your hearing loss is permanent.

Mixed hearing loss

You have mixed hearing loss when you have conductive and sensorineural hearing problems.

What types of ear problems are dizziness and vertigo?

Dizziness refers to the sensations of lightheadedness, vertigo, and loss of balance. Vertigo is a type of dizziness that gives you the feeling that your surroundings are spinning around.

Inner ear infections and ear disorders often cause dizziness. However, you may also feel dizzy due to medical conditions such as headaches, heart conditions, low blood sugar, and concussions.

Vertigo may originate in your central nervous system, when problems like a stroke affect the part of your brain that regulates balance. 

However, vertigo more commonly arises from ear problems such as an ear infection, Mèniére’s disease (fluid accumulation in your ear), and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is an inner ear condition that upsets your balance.

What common ear problems do ENT specialists treat?

Dr. Lapco frequently treats common problems like earwax impaction, ear infections, and tinnitus:

Earwax impaction

Earwax is naturally produced in your ear, where it protects your eardrum and blocks out dirt and other small particles. Earwax can build up for many reasons, but it’s often due to hearing aids, earplugs, and using cotton swabs. 

When the wax accumulates, you may experience dizziness, mild hearing loss, ringing in your ears, and ear pain.

Ear infections

Though ear infections are more common in children, adults can also develop infections in their outer, middle, and inner ear. The most common symptoms include ear pain, mild hearing problems, fluid drainage, dizziness, and red, tender, or swollen skin.

Tinnitus (ringing in your ear)

Ringing in your ear includes a range of noises that come from inside your body, including rushing sounds, buzzing, whistling, and hissing. Tinnitus is often the symptom of an underlying ear problem, such as earwax buildup, a middle ear infection, age-related hearing loss, and auditory nerve problems.

If you need help for an ear problem, call Dr. Paul Lapco, ENT, or book an appointment online today.