Hearing Loss and Hearing Disorders

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Duke’s hearing specialists provide personalized care to improve your hearing. Whether you are struggling to understand conversations, experiencing fullness or ringing in your ears, have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, or are sensitive to certain sounds, our team can provide support. We use sophisticated testing to pinpoint the cause of your hearing problem and offer a wide variety of treatments to help you hear and communicate well. 

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Conditions We Treat

Our team of hearing loss specialists diagnose and treat all degrees and types of hearing loss, including both conductive (which involves the external or middle ear) and sensorineural (which involves the connection between your ear and nervous system).

We also treat conditions and disorders that can cause hearing problems, including:

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Depending on the underlying cause of hearing loss or a hearing disorder, medications like antibiotics, antihistamines, and steroids can help manage symptoms and prevent further hearing loss.

Ear Surgery
If surgery is necessary, our highly skilled surgeons expertly treat a range of ear disorders and injuries that affect hearing, including chronic ear infections requiring ear tube placement, perforated eardrum, cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices
We offer a wide selection of the most advanced hearing aid technology to suit various lifestyles, preferences, and budgets. Our audiologists provide device fittings, adjustments, and follow-up care to ensure your hearing aids are performing optimally. Additionally, we offer assistive listening systems and information on personal sound amplifiers, telephone amplifiers, and alarm or warning devices.

Implantable Hearing Devices 
For hearing loss that cannot be treated with conventional hearing aids, implantable hearing devices -- such as cochlear implants or bone conduction hearing aids -- can help restore hearing function. 


Imaging Scans
CT or MRI scans capture images of the inner and middle ear structures to identify abnormalities. These images help your doctor identify the cause of your hearing impairment and determine the most effective treatment for you.

Comprehensive Audiology Assessment
Our audiologists conduct a thorough evaluation of your hearing abilities using a range of tests, including:

  • Pure tone audiometry: Determines the presence, type, and severity of hearing loss by measuring your ability to hear tones at different frequencies. 
  • Speech audiometry: Measures how loud spoken words need to be for you to hear them and how clearly you can understand them.
  • Immittance tests: Evaluates middle ear function using pressure changes.
  • Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing: Measures the brain stem’s response to sounds. Electrodes are placed on your forehead and ears, and responses generated by the auditory neural pathway are recorded and analyzed. 
  • Otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing: Assesses function of the cochlea by measuring sounds generated in response to acoustic stimulation.

Tinnitus Evaluation
For people experiencing hearing loss and tinnitus (the perception of sound heard in your ears or inside your head that is not from an outside source), you will undergo a thorough evaluation measuring your ultra-high frequency hearing thresholds as well as tinnitus pitch and volume.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

Why Choose Duke

Team of Specialists
Your care team may include otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat, or ENT, doctors), otologists/neurotologists (doctors specializing in diagnosis and treatment of complex ear disease and skull base tumors), audiologists, and vestibular specialists.

Advanced Technology 
From diagnostic methods to surgical techniques, our experts use specialized tools to increase accuracy, boost efficiency, reduce risk, and achieve the best-possible outcomes.

Patient-Centered Approach 
We prioritize education, communication, and collaboration with you in making decisions about your hearing health.

This page was medically reviewed on 02/07/2024 by