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Can Hearing Loss Be Cured?

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Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.
Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

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Loss of hearing occurs when the ability to hear the sounds is reduced. Loss of hearing makes it difficult for acuity speech and sounds. The most common causes of hearing loss are noise and air pollution, as well as aging. Loss of hearing is an irreversible condition that cannot be cured, but in most cases, it can be treated using hearing aids. After being diagnosed with hearing loss condition, acknowledging the situation can be difficult. There is social discrimination associated with loss of hearing, vanity in the use of hearing aids, and ageism to contend with others and oneself.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can either be sensorineural, conductive, or a combination of the two. Sensorineural hearing loss results when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. Presbycusis, also known as age hearing impairment, together with a noise-induced hearing disorder, a permanent loss of hearing caused by prolonged exposure to noise, are some examples of sensorineural hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is fluid buildup in the middle ear reducing the movement of sound from the outer ear through the middle ear to the inner ear.

Mixed hearing impairment is a condition that arises when there are difficulties in conducting sound to the inner ear, and at the same time, the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. Often, it is a combination of sensorineural hearing impairment and conductive hearing impairment. Loss of hearing can also be bilateral, affecting both ears, or single-sided hearing impairment affecting one ear.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Many factors can cause hearing impairment, but the most common causes are age and noise. Hearing impairment is the natural consequence of aging. Too much exposure to noise increase the risk of having a hearing impairment. The noises may be from our place of work, voluntary exposure to noise, or loud music and stereos.

However, other potential factors can still result in loss of hearing. Some of these factors include:

  • Head injuries
  • Heredity factors
  • Some infections such as upper respiratory diseases
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Allergies
  • Damages to the ear
  • Cholesterol

Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing impairment can be treated, but it is impossible to restore hearing. The use of hearing aid devices is the most common treatment option that is widely used. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated through surgery to remove the blockage in the ear. The use of hearing aids usually treats sensorineural hearing loss. Sudden loss of hearing should be urgently addressed, and the hearing loss treatment mostly involves the use of steroids.

Hearing Solutions

There are different styles of hearing aid devices. The type of hearing device to use may depend on the severity of your condition, personal choice, availability, and cost. Hearing aid devices vary in their functionality, depending on the electronic system used. Generally, there are only two types of electronic systems analog and digital. Before getting a hearing aid device, it is essential to ask your audiologist the following questions:

  • What are the best hearing aid features for you?
  • What is the cost of hearing aid? Do the benefits of new technology outweigh those of older technology?
  • Whether there is a trial period for testing the hearing aid?
  • Which instructions and precautions to observe while using a hearing aid?

Benefits of Treating Hearing Impairment

Untreated hearing loss can result in profound long term physical, emotional, and social effects on seniors. Sometimes, the process of treating hearing impairment can be complicated, but the results are worth the struggle. Treating hearing impairment comes along with plenty of benefits. Below are just but a few:

  • Cognitive benefits – several studies have linked untreated hearing loss as the leading risk factor of developing dementia and increasing cognitive decline. The exciting recent research shows that treating hearing impairment with hearing aid devices slows the decline of memory and thinking retention.
  • Emotional benefits – any hearing impairment can make you feel disconnected from your sense affecting how you feel and think about yourself. Treating hearing impairment improves your sense of well-being and enhances your desire to connect with friends and loved ones.

It is important to treat hearing essential to reduce the risk of permanently losing your hearing ability. Even though there is no cure, there are available effective treatment options to help people live a happy and productive life.

Hearing Consultants

If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing and are struggling with communication, contact us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!