Audiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing-related issues
Options for Treating Hearing Loss
If you suffer from hearing loss, you’re not alone. Current studies rank the loss of hearing as one of the more common ailments today. In fact, most people who are currently suffering from hearing loss are unaware of the variety of treatments available to them. While hearing aids are the most common and successful treatment for hearing loss, there are a number of new solutions on the horizon.
There are many more options out there for you, no matter what the level of hearing loss you have. However, your treatment options are also dependent on the severity of your condition. Treatment for hearing loss should always be specifically evaluated for each case, as will be explained below.
Conductive impairment happens when sounds do not pass well through the ear’s outer canal due to the result of functional blockages. Wax buildup or ear infections can sometimes cause this condition. A trained audiologist will be able to identify the condition and treat it effectively.
Infections can be treated with an antibiotic and excessive wax can be flushed out, while problems with bones in the middle ear’s canal can sometimes be remedied with surgery. As most medical cases of conductive hearing loss are not permanent or irreversible, many respond to treatments. You should always consult with your doctor concerning options or treatments available.
Damage to the inner ear’s hair cells can lead to sensorineural impairment, which can be due to aging, head traumas and overexposure to noise. Audiologists consider the condition as not medically treatable since the cells cannot be regrown. A specialist will be able to identify if this is the case with your hearing loss almost immediately. In these cases, specialists look for methods to magnify sounds. Hearing aids and cochlear inserts are typically recommended for in-ear amplification due to their 95 percent success rate in use. The good news is that the latest assistive technologies are also more effective than those previously available.
Treatments on the horizon
Until recently, conductive hearing loss was regarded as treatable, while sensorineural impairment wasn’t. But new discoveries give hope that the latter may become amenable to innovative treatments. Scientists at the Rochester Institute have devised a micro-pump to administer precise drug dosages and gene-therapy regimes for this purpose. The head of the project has the goal of improving on the current technology.
There are medical advances as well in the regeneration and replacement of damaged hair cell tissue, based on stem-cell research. A revolutionary breakthrough here may someday enable a cure for aging-related hearing loss, to replace current assistive methods.
Don’t be afraid to seek treatment
If you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, you should seek treatment. Only one-fifth of those who could gain benefits from such treatments look for help and many wait too long and suffer social discomfort. Ignoring your hearing problems can only lower your quality of life. Hearing loss is a common health problem, but it doesn’t have to impair your life as well. Schedule an appointment with your audiologist if you think you’re experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss.