Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that occurs when sounds are unable to pass into the inner ear (conductive hearing loss) is often temporary and treatable.
For example, earwax build-up can be removed by drops, a syringe or suction. Hearing loss caused by a bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics. Surgery can be used to drain a fluid build-up, repair a perforated eardrum, or correct problems with the hearing bones.
However, hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or to the nerves that transmit sound to brain (sensorineural hearing loss) is permanent.
If your hearing is impaired, treatment can improve your hearing and quality of life. Some of these treatments are discussed below.
Treatment options vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
With hearing loss being such a common and life-altering issue, it is important that individuals suffering seek treatment as soon as possible. Once the hearing loss has been identified and properly diagnosed, the hearing professional might use a handful of treatment options to tackle the problem, including: hearing aids, surgical treatments or medications.
Why Treat Hearing Loss?
Individuals who suspect they’re suffering from hearing loss should seek treatment as soon as possible. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a number of other health problems, both physical and psychological.
Untreated hearing loss also is linked to a variety of emotional problems, including anxiety and depression. Individuals with hearing loss often have difficulty following day-to-day conversations and may begin withdrawing from activities and other things they enjoy. Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and the decrease in quality of life if allowed to manifest for an extended period of time.
Treatment For Temporary Hearing Loss
Temporary hearing loss is generally caused by exposure to loud noises or music. Because temporary hearing loss usually wears off within a few hours, treatment options are minimal. Ear plugs are advised to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss and should be worn because prolonged exposure could result in permanent hearing loss.
Treatment For Conductive Hearing Loss
Generally caused by a condition in the outer or middle inner ear, conductive hearing loss is usually temporary. Conductive hearing loss is often the result of ear wax build-up, fluid in the middle ear or a perforated eardrum. Because of the nature of conductive hearing loss, treatment options usually involve medication first to address the specific cause.
In the event medical treatment does not clear up the hearing loss, a hearing healthcare professional will investigate other options, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Treatment For Permanent Hearing Loss
If a permanent hearing loss is suspected, individuals should seek treatment from a hearing healthcare provider who can help pursue other available options. In fact, studies show 95% of cases of sensorineural hearing loss can be improved using hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Treating Hearing Loss With Hearing Aids
When medical intervention cannot restore hearing, hearing aids are a viable option for many individuals. Hearing aids can be purchased in a variety of colors, styles and sizes, and offer different price points based on the features an individual needs or wants.
The purpose of a hearing aid is to amplify or make a sound louder. While they do not restore hearing, they do improve hearing ability, allowing individuals to communicate more clearly and function better. Hearing aids can be worn behind the ear and in the ear depending on a person’s degree of hearing loss and personal preference.
A person who suspects they might benefit from the use of hearing aids should seek assistance from a hearing care provider.