If you have hearing problems, help is available. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your hearing loss.
- Removing wax blockage. Earwax blockage is a reversible cause of hearing loss. Your doctor may remove earwax by loosening it with oil and then flushing, scooping or suctioning out the softened wax.
- Surgical procedures. Surgery may be necessary if you've had a traumatic ear injury or repeated infections that require the insertion of small tubes that help the ears drain.
- Hearing aids. If your hearing loss is due to damage to your inner ear, a hearing aid can help by making sounds stronger and easier for you to hear. An audiologist can discuss with you the potential benefits of using a hearing aid, recommend a device and fit you with it.
- Cochlear implants. If you have severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be an option for you. Unlike a hearing aid that amplifies sound and directs it into your ear canal, a cochlear implant compensates for damaged or nonworking parts of your inner ear. If you're considering a cochlear implant, your audiologist, along with a medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose and throat (ENT), can discuss the risks and benefits with you.
Benefits of treatment
Getting treatment can improve your quality of life dramatically. People who use hearing aids report these benefits:
Sept. 03, 2015
- Greater self-confidence
- Closer relationships with loved ones
- Improved outlook on life, overall
- Less depression
- Lasak JM, et al. Hearing loss: Diagnosis and management. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2014;41:19.
- Weber PC. Etiology of hearing loss in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/Age-Related-Hearing-Loss.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Disorders of hearing. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Common sounds. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/education/teachers/pages/common_sounds.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Noise and hearing loss prevention: Noise meter. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/noisemeter.html. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Occupational noise exposure. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9735. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Weber PC. Evaluation of hearing loss in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2015.