Treating Hearing Loss
According by a research undertaken by John Hopkins Medicine, close to 20 percent of people above the age of 12 experience some kind of hearing loss. Unfortunately, most of these people do not seek treatment for their condition. People experiencing hearing loss should seek treatment since it can potentially transform their lives.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Treatment of hearing loss has been shown to have a number of psychological, emotional, social and physical benefits to patients. Some of the benefits gained from treating hearing loss include:
- Increased self confidence
- Closer and more meaningful relationships with others
- Easier communication, leading to increased warmth and intimacy in family relationships
- Higher earning power
- Decreased risk of suffering from depression
- Improved emotional stability
- Better outlook on life
- Better cognitive abilities and general mental health
- Improved physical well being
Hearing Loss Treatment Methods
There is a wide array of options available for treatment of hearing loss, ranging from medical interventions to use of listening devices. The kind of treatment depends on the type, cause and severity of the condition and should only be determined by a qualified healthcare provider. It’s good to note that there is no cure for age related hearing loss, though listening devices such as hearing aids can be used to manage the problem. Some common hearing loss treatment options include:
Removing earwax blockage
Earwax blockage is a common cause of hearing loss. Fortunately, hearing loss caused by earwax blockage is easily reversible. The blockage may be caused by too much wax production by the ears, which may then harden and block the ear. Wrongly cleaning your ear can also accidentally push the wax deeper into the ear where it causes blockage. Frequent use of earphones might also cause blockages by keeping the earwax from coming out of the ear canals. Earwax blockage can be treated by removing the blockage. A doctor may soften the earwax using oil and the scoop, suction or flush it out.
Many kinds of hearing problems can be treated by getting medical treatment, especially conductive hearing loss. Most common forms of conductive hearing loss are caused by the presence of fluid in the middle ear and bacterial infections in the middle ear. In situations where the problem is caused by an infection, antibiotics can be used to treat the problem. A primary healthcare provider can diagnose and treat most of these conditions. However, if the problem persists, it’s recommended that you visit an ear specialist. Even if your particular problem doesn’t require medical treatment, we advise that you visit an audiologist for proper diagnosis of your hearing problem before seeking treatment.
Depending on the nature of the hearing loss, sometimes surgery may be required to treat the problem. This is especially common is cases where a person has had a traumatic ear injury or where there are repeated infections. This may necessitate the insertion of small tubes to help drain fluid from the ear. Surgery may also be used to treat hearing loss that occurs due to a problem with the bones of the middle ear as well as to mend the eardrum, repair the ossicles or remove tumors from behind the ear.
In situations where hearing cannot be restored through medical interventions, hearing aids provide a viable treatment alternative, especially when the hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear. Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices which work by amplifying sound or making it louder. Though they do not restore full hearing, they enable you to hear by making sounds stronger. Hearing aids come in many different colors, shapes, sizes and styles. They also have different price tags depending on the features you require. Some common styles of hearing aids are:
- Behind the ear: This is the most common type of hearing aids. They are designed in such a way that they go over the top of the ear and around the back of the ear.
- In the ear: These are small hearing aids that are designed to fit into the opening of the ear canal.
- In the canal: These are very tiny hearing aids that go much further into the ear canal. They are only barely visible when you wear them.
Before purchasing a set of hearing aids, we recommend that you have a consultation with an audiologist to help you determine the type of hearing aids that are most appropriate to your condition.
Cochlea implantsThese are a good option if you have severe hearing loss. Unlike hearing aids, cochlea implants don’t amplify sound. Instead, they compensate for the damaged parts in your inner ear.