The impact of the loss of hearing on a day to day life depends on the person. For those who lose their hearing later in life, it can be frustrating. You might experience mental health changes, including depression and anxiety. However, recovering your hearing might improve your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss:
Types of Hearing Loss
A person might lose their hearing before the development of verbal skills and after. It can happen by hearing damage or as a part of aging. There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Of the three, the most common is sensorineural.
Sensorineural hearing loss is common and permanent. It’s caused by damage to the cilia or the auditory nerves. Common symptoms include ringing in the ears, delayed speech in children and some or total loss of hearing.
Complications associated with the outer or middle ear is considered conductive. This can be the shape of the outer or middle ear, fluid in the middle ear from allergies, wax build up, obstructions and tumors.
It’s possible to have a mix of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Here you can have complications of loud noise exposure as well as fluid in ears due to allergies. It can worsen symptoms and impact whether or not your hearing can be recovered.
Whether or not it’s reversible depends on the extent of damage and the duration of loss. If it occurred prior to speech development, then there are options depending on the type of loss. If it is sensorineural, there is no cure to recover your hearing. Mixed loss can also be reversed completely or partially.
For conductive, there are treatments that will help you recover your hearing. Common problems and their treatments are:
- Wax build up can be cleared
- Sudden hearing loss usually recovers on its own or with corticosteroids
- Ear infections can be cleared up with antibiotics
- Chronic ear infections can be cleared with ear tubes
Solutions for Irreversible Loss of Hearing
Unfortunately, sensorineural cannot be reversed. Depending on the extent of the loss, it’s possible to use devices to enhance hearing. It can be treated with two devices: hearing aids and Cochlear implant.
Hearing aids are worn on the ear or just inside of it. This device amplifies the sounds you’d otherwise not be able to hear. They come in many styles and requires batteries and maintenance. Check out our Beltone hearing aids.
The Cochlear implant is a device surgically implanted to replace the damaged ear. It works by directly stimulating the auditory nerve, bypassing the non-working cilia and nerves. The implant works for people who have over 60% loss of hearing and can’t use hearing aids.
If you need hearing care, speak with the audiologists at Beltone Audiology to find the best solution for you. For more information and resources, contact us today at (866) 530-9145.