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How is hearing loss treated?

Sometimes the problem is just an earwax build-up and the patient is referred to a doctor to remove the wax. Treatment will depend on the type of hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss is called "sensorineural hearing loss." This is the kind usually found with diabetes. It cannot usually be cured. However, most cases of sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

There are different treatments for hearing loss, including hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and cochlear implants. Because many people do not recognize they have early hearing loss, these tools are missed until hearing loss worsens. By treating hearing loss early, you can take advantage of these high-tech aids and enjoy being an active participant in life.

You may wonder if hearing aids really work. The answer is yes, according to a study performed by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss and their significant others. This report linked hearing aids with significant improvements in the physical, emotional, social and psychological well-being of both the user and family members. Hearing aid treatment can increase a feeling of control over life, earning potential, ease in speaking and listening, and feelings of emotional strength.

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are also effective treatments for hearing loss at all levels from mild to severe. These listening devices may be wired or wireless and enable people to communicate with those inside or outside the home, in meetings or classrooms, or while eating at a restaurant. In addition, there are visual alerting devices that signal the person with hearing loss if someone is at the door or if the phone rings. Other ALDs include text telephones, computerized speech recognition, and closed captioning TV.

For people who cannot use hearing aids, a doctor who is board certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) can explain other options for improving hearing. These options may range from a cochlear implant, a procedure called stapedectomy, removal of a blockage such as ear wax or inflammation from an infection, or surgical removal of an acoustic neuroma, a tumor that grows on the hearing and balance nerve.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.