Can Hearing Damage Be Reversed?
Hearing loss can happen for various reasons. The natural process of aging can create difficulty to hear, but so can inner ear malfunction, loud noise, and certain blockages. Luckily, hearing loss can be reversible with the proper treatment.
Which Types of Hearing Loss Can Be Reversed?
There are three main types of hearing loss which include:
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is blocked. This can be due to a damaged anatomical structure in the ear canal or from wax buildup. When an individual has conductive hearing loss, sound levels are reduced from the passage to the inner ear. This can negatively impact the ability to hear both high and low pitches.
Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage caused by tiny hair cells or the auditory nerve. This can weaken the transfer of nerve signals and create a lack of sound clarity. Many people experience this type of hearing loss from a genetic syndrome or infection.
Mixed hearing loss can occur gradually or from sudden trauma. Symptoms are generally a combination of those produced by both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. The specific treatment options may vary according to the combination of symptoms.
Depending on the individual, different types of hearing loss may be able to be reversed with treatment. Conductive hearing loss can be treated with non-invasive treatments, while sound therapy treatments can benefit those with sensorineural hearing loss.
Many individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss can understand their options better with the help of a trained professional. An audiologist can assess a personalized plan to improve hearing.
What About Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common hearing problem. The condition creates an unpleasant hissing or ringing sound that persists regardless of the situation. Specific therapies can help individuals suffering from this condition.
Sound therapy is not considered a “cure” for this condition, but it can significantly lessen the symptoms. By using distraction techniques, the sound association can change the way tinnitus affects the individual. Typically this type of therapy is used in conjunction with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy with the help of an audiologist.
Hearing aids or cochlear implants can help sensorineural hearing loss. Since the auditory nerve and the cilia cannot be treated, cochlear implants can bypass the damaged part of the auditory system. Partial hearing loss is a likely outcome for those with sensorineural damage.
Removing blockages can help heal the conductive hearing loss. This typically happens when there is a buildup that blocks the ability to hear. Buildups can include wax impaction, a foreign object lodged in the ear such as Q-Tips, abnormal growths, and infection. Depending on the blockage, this can sometimes be removed non-invasively.
Medical restoration can be an option for certain kinds of hearing abnormalities. Individuals that have an abnormally narrow ear canal may benefit from this type of treatment. Other abnormalities include otosclerosis, which can affect the middle ear.
Non-invasive treatments can also reverse hearing loss. Traditional hearing aids are just one of the options available. Bone-conduction hearing aids are designed for outer and middle ear issues. By using bone vibration to transfer sound, it can bypass those areas for mixed hearing loss conditions. Depending on ear structure and the cause of hearing loss, treatment options may differ.
Contact Us Today
If you are experiencing a loss of sound clarity, hearing loss may be to blame. At Beltone Skoric Hearing Aid Center, we can help assess and diagnose the type of hearing loss and the treatment options that will be most effective. For more information, please call us to schedule an appointment.