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Can Hearing Loss Be Fixed or Repaired?
For many, a hearing loss diagnosis can feel devastating. Hearing loss can affect a person’s mental, physical, social and cognitive health. Permanent hearing loss caused by aging or severe damage to the ear cannot be completely cured – but there are ways to alleviate the side effects of hearing loss. While it may sound dismal to learn that types of hearing loss cannot be cured – there is a bright side. The good news is that hearing loss can be treated and made manageable. Treatments for hearing loss are largely dependent upon the type of hearing loss experienced. Some treatments are designed to correct temporary hearing loss, while others address more permanent variations of the condition.
Understanding Conductive Hearing Loss
The type of hearing loss that can usually be completely treated is conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem transferring sound waves along the ear pathway, specifically in the outer and/or middle ear. Some conditions labeled as conductive hearing loss, such as impacted cerumen (ear wax), can be completely fixed by removing the blockage from the ear canal. Of course, this isn’t the case for every instance of conductive hearing loss. Another instance of “reversible” hearing loss occurs with the presence of ear infections or other common illnesses that may obstruct or impede a person’s ability to hear. These conditions can be cleared up with antibiotics or medications that rid the body of the infection.
Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The most common type of hearing loss, known as sensorineural hearing loss, is a progressive degenerative disorder and the number one sensory deficit among the 65 plus population. The root cause of sensorineural hearing loss lies within the inner ear or sensory organ (cochlea), or even the cranial nerve associated with hearing. Due to its physiological nature, this type of hearing loss can be treated splendidly through the medical advancements of hearing technology.
Hearing Device Technologies
Up to 90% of recorded instances of permanent hearing loss can be attributed to sensorineural hearing loss, which had led to impressive developments in hearing devices and cochlear implant technology. Hearing devices are now low profile and discrete to fit the needs of today’s hearing loss patients. As the most effective way to treat hearing loss, hearing devices are the key to any hearing loss treatment plan. Audiologists have the ability to test a patient’s hearing and use Real Ear Measurements (REM) to accurately measure the performance of the hearing device objectively. Gone are the days of big, bulky hearing devices. Audiologists at The Villages Health can perform Real Ear Measurements to fit you with the right hearing device – effectively treating your hearing loss.
If you’re concerned about your hearing – don’t wait. Visit a doctor of audiology at The Villages Health Audiology. Our team of experts will test your hearing, get you fitted and work with you to create a hearing loss treatment plan that works best for your lifestyle and budget. Total hearing health is within reach, no matter where you are in your health journey.More Resources