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Can Hearing Loss Be Cured?

a side view of a woman holding a hand to her ear

Hearing loss is often associated with getting older but it can affect people of all ages. There are multiple causes of hearing loss and different types. Certain types of hearing loss can’t be cured, but fortunately, an audiologist can recommend a variety of treatments. The most common treatment for hearing loss is a hearing aid or assisted listening devices. 

Audiologists are highly trained in customizing, fitting and repairing all types of hearing aids. They can also perform a diagnosis and hearing test to determine the cause and severity of hearing loss. They can then recommend the most suitable treatment to help improve the patient’s way of life.

Types of hearing loss

There are three main types of hearing loss. These are conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. Each type has a different cause and treatment, but all result in loss of hearing. This can lead to social issues and difficulty carrying out daily tasks. If left untreated, hearing loss can affect the patient in other ways as well. Here is an overview of each type of hearing loss.

  • Conductive hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss is caused by a temporary build-up of wax in the inner ear or an ear infection. Other ailments can also cause a blockage of fluid in the ear. This prevents the patient from being able to hear temporarily but it can be cured by an audiologist.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by more permanent damage to the inner ear. The part of your ear is known as the cochlea and it’s sensitive to things like very loud noises and trauma. Sensorineural hearing loss is also hereditary or could be due to malformation of the ear. Other diseases such as Otosclerosis can cause hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can’t be cured completely but there is a wide range of treatments.
  • Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis): Age-related hearing loss is the same as sensorineural hearing loss, but it develops in certain people as they get older. Aging is a common cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Presbycusis can’t be cured but there are many health and social benefits to receiving treatment.

It’s also possible to experience mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural. This could be due to ongoing infection, injury or a hereditary disorder. All types of hearing loss can also occur in one or both ears. There are different treatments for hearing loss depending on the type.

Treatments for hearing loss

In the case of conductive hearing loss, an audiologist can perform an ear exam. If it’s caused by a build-up of wax, they will then remove this carefully. An ear infection is another common cause of conductive hearing loss. An audiologist will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment for this. In just a couple of visits, conductive hearing loss can be cured. The audiologist will be able to determine the best treatment according to each individual case.

If you have permanent hearing loss this means that the tiny hairs in your inner ear have been damaged. These hairs normally pick-up sound waves by sensing the movement of fluid in your inner ear. They then send these signals to your brain to interpret. In the case of hearing loss, hearing aids can substitute these functions. Therefore, hearing aids are the most common treatment for sensorineural hearing loss.

There are different styles of hearing aids. An audiologist will be able to determine which is best for each individual patient. These types include in-the-ear (ITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-canal (ITC). Innovations in technology have also meant a shift to digital hearing aids and these can have several advanced functions. 

These include background noise and feedback reduction, automatic settings and adjustments and smartphone compatibility. Even though yet there is no cure for permanent damage to the inner ear, hearing aids can still improve the patient’s way of life significantly.

How an audiologist can help

Audiologists are highly skilled and work with both children and adults with hearing loss as part of their daily routine. An audiologist will be able to determine the type, cause, and suitable treatment for hearing loss. They also provide help and support every step of the way. At Listen Hear Diagnostics, our friendly advisors are always available to arrange an appointment with an audiologist for you. If you would like to learn more about Listen Hear Diagnostics, contact us today at 347-450-9872.