Hearing loss can be caused by many different causes, some of which can be successfully treated with medicine or surgery, depending on the disease process.
If you suspect you have a hearing loss, it is important to immediately seek the advice of a qualified hearing healthcare professional. Hearing tests are simple, painless and widely available. Your hearing health professional will begin by conducting a thorough history, and they will ask questions about the challenges you are having, your lifestyle and your communication needs.
Three Types of Hearing Loss
- Conductive hearing loss - when hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones (the malleus, incus, and stapes).
- Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) - when hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, also known as nerve-related hearing loss.
- Mixed hearing loss - refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
Treatments for Hearing Loss:
Hearing loss is a well-understood medical condition that has many tried-and-true treatment options. Finding the right treatment is a joint venture between you and your hearing care professional, and if done properly, takes into consideration the following factors:
- Type of hearing loss
- Severity of hearing loss
- Cause, if known
- Your lifestyle
- Your age and your communication needs
- Your cosmetic preferences
- Your budget
Some types of hearing loss, especially conductive types, can be medically or surgically corrected but others cannot. The most common treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is properly fitted hearing aids. Hearing aids are widely available in a range of styles, colors, sizes, technology levels and price points.
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