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Treatments for Hearing Loss
How is hearing loss treated?
Treatment depends on the type and cause of the hearing loss. Your doctor can help you decide on the best treatment.
Treatment for permanent hearing loss
You and your family may view hearing loss as part of aging, but proper treatment is important. Hearing loss may lead to loneliness, depression, and loss of independence. Treatment can't bring back your hearing. But it can make communication, social interaction, and daily activities easier and more enjoyable.
Hearing devices can often improve how well you hear and communicate. These devices include:
- Hearing aids.
Hearing aids make sounds louder. They don't restore your hearing, but they may help you function and communicate more easily. Having hearing tests now and then can help you know when your hearing aids need adjustment.
- Implanted hearing devices.
- Cochlear implants are one example. Several types of hearing implants are available, each for specific types of hearing problems. Some implants require devices to be worn outside the ear. Newer implants may be contained within the ear.
- Other devices.
These include assistive listening devices, alerting devices, and other communication aids. For example, alerting devices can help alert you to sounds around the house like the phone or doorbell.
You also can learn ways to live with reduced hearing, such as paying attention to people's gestures, facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice.
Treatment for reversible hearing loss
Reversible hearing loss can often be treated successfully. Treatment depends on its cause.
- Hearing loss caused by ototoxic medicines (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) often improves after you stop taking the medicine.
- An ear infection, such as a middle ear infection, often clears up on its own. But you may need antibiotics.
- An injury to the ear or head may heal on its own. Or you may need surgery.
- Conditions such as otosclerosis, acoustic neuroma, and Ménière's disease may require medicine or surgery.
- An autoimmune problem may be treated with corticosteroid medicine, such as prednisone.
- Earwax is treated by removing the wax. Do not use a cotton swab or another object to try to remove the wax. This may push the wax even deeper into the ear or may cause injury.
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