Hearing Loss Treatments
Several options are available for hearing loss, ranging from medical treatment to listening devices, such as hearing aids.
Treatment depends of the cause and severity of hearing loss. For age-related hearing loss, there is no cure, but hearing aids and other listening devices help treat the problem and improve quality of life.
Medical treatment, including medications and surgery, is recommended for some types of hearing problems, particularly conductive hearing loss. However, even if medical treatment is not necessary for your type of hearing loss, we highly recommend a visit to an audiologist for both a definite diagnosis of the type of hearing loss and treatment advice.
Some of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss are fluid in the middle ear, with or without infection, and earwax blocking the ear canal. In cases where there is a bacterial infection of the middle ear, antibiotics are often used. Although these conditions often can be diagnosed and treated by a primary care doctor, persistent problems may require the care of an ear specialist. Conductive hearing loss also may be caused by a problem with the bones of the middle ear, which, in many cases, can be treated with surgery.
If diagnosed with hearing loss that cannot be treated medically, our audiologist will recommend a hearing aid evaluation and consultation. This consultation appointment will help determine which hearing aids or other assistive listening devices would be most appropriate. Lifestyle, listening needs and hearing concerns are important in determining the appropriate hearing aids.
Assistive Listening, Hearing Enhancement and Alerting Devices
In some cases, hearing or alerting assistive devices may be recommended in addition to, or instead of, hearing aids. Hearing assistance technologies come in two forms:
- Signaling or Test Display Devices – These are designed to convert sound or keystrokes into visual or vibratory stimulus, or into a written text.
- Assistive Listening Devices – These instruments are designed to enhance the sound that is received by picking up the sound closer to its source. This reduces the effects of distance, noise and reverberation and transmits sound directly to the ears or hearing aids.
There are a number of devices that can assist hearing in a variety of settings. These include:
- Large Area Listening Systems
- Television Listening Systems
- Conference Microphones
- Personal FM Systems
- Amplified Telephones
Signaling and Text Display Systems
People with hearing loss can benefit from signaling and substitution systems, which convert sound or keystrokes into another mode, such as text or flashing lights. These systems include:
- Signaling and Warning Systems
- TV and media Closed Captioning
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that can help improve the hearing of people with more severe, irreversible hearing loss. Although a cochlear implant does not restore normal hearing, it can allow a person to hear and understand more speech than was possible with a hearing aid.
Aural Rehabilitation and Listening and Auditory Communication Enhancement
Unfortunately, hearing aids will not correct hearing loss or restore hearing to normal levels. However, the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices along with auditory training can help maximize hearing abilities. Improving your listening skills may consists of:
- Audiologic rehabilitation classes
- Learning good listening strategies
- Establishing guidelines for communicating with those around you