Hearing loss is classified as one of the most common health conditions in Americans. Seeking hearing loss treatment is not a one-day affair. It takes time depending on certain factors, as well as the type of hearing loss you are suffering from. Underlying causes need to be assessed as well.
Before Seeking Treatment
Understand why hearing loss must be treated in the first place. Children with untreated hearing loss may suffer from learning, language development, and even social engagement challenges ater on. Adults, on the other hand, will find it challenging to communicate with others, which can impact the quality of their lives. Once you find out that you have trouble hearing, get a hearing test. Your hearing care professional will be there to evaluate your condition.
Hearing Aids – The Main Treatment
There are hair cells in our ears that stop functioning as we age. This is why age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, occurs. This is a type of sensorineural hearing loss, one where the problem originates in the auditory nerve and/or the inner ear. This is common in people who are working in a noisy environment, and usually develops when one gets older.
Hearing aids are regarded as the gold treatment standard for people suffering from this problem. Cochlear implants may likewise be recommended in certain instances. Once recommended, your hearing care professional will see to it that your devices are calibrated according to your specific hearing loss needs. Note that these will not restore hearing nor cure your problem, but they can help because they amplify sound according to the ranges that you need.
Many of the hearing aids today are customizable so that sounds you need are amplified while those you don't need are minimized. They are perfect for people suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss. There are specific types made for kids, and these are called pediatric hearing aids.
Hearing aids can be worn two ways. It is either you wear them in the ear or behind the ear. This will depend on your personal preference as well as the degree of hearing loss that you are suffering from. You can get them in different types and styles. Your audiologist will recommend a hearing aid based on your specific level of hearing loss.
Other Hearing Loss Treatments
When hearing aids are not the best fit for you, there are other treatment options to choose from. The list includes:
- Cochlear Implants: This one requires surgery and is recommended for people who cannot use hearing aids to amplify the sounds around them. They are generally covered by insurance programs.
- Surgical Treatments: These are recommended for people suffering from conductive hearing loss which is brought about by a condition in the middle or outer ear. An ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist will look into the problem, and surgery will be an option for those with anatomical or bone problems.
- Auditory Training and Rehab: This is a process where the brain relearns how noise can be processed into sound. Some may need to visit an occupational therapist, while others may perform exercises at home. The use of audiobooks can also help.
Alternatives to hearing aids, if suitable for your level of hearing loss, will be recommended to you by your hearing healthcare professional.