Before any type of treatment can get underway, it is important to know what type of hearing loss you suffer with. There are three different types of hearing loss and treatment can vary depending on which type you suffer with.
Treatment for sensorineural hearing loss
This type of loss is associated with head trauma or an abrupt change in air pressure (e.g. airplane descent). This usually causes the ear drum to rupture and the fluid to leak out, which can be toxic to the inner ear. When this happens, surgery is carried out but the levels of success differ widely.
- Sensorineural hearing loss from disease
Hearing loss as a result of disease can clear up with treatment to target the disease itself rather than just tackling the hearing loss. For example, hearing loss as a result of multiple sclerosis may clear up with treatment for multiple sclerosis.
- Fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss
This could be associated with Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s can be treated with a low-sodium diet, corticosteroids, and diuretics. Symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Various surgical procedures can be used to eliminate vertigo if it is unable to be controlled by other means.
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
This is usually as a result of a virus and is a medical emergency that is usually treated with corticosteroids.
- Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss
This is the most common form of hearing loss and is treated using hearing aids and in severe cases can be surgically treated with cochlear implants.
Treatment for conductive hearing loss
- If your conductive hearing loss is caused by a tumor, then this normally requires surgical intervention. However, medication can be used to treat chronic ear infections or fluid in the middle ear.
- Surgery can be performed to treat conductive hearing loss if it is a result of head trauma, birth defects, malformation, or otosclerosis (an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear).
- Hearing aids can also offer treatment for conductive hearing loss. A bone conduction hearing device is used for those who suffer with problems in their outer or middle ear or a conventional hearing aid can be used depending on the condition of the nerves.
Treatment for mixed hearing loss
- It is recommended that the conductive hearing loss is treated first, however, in some instances, the conductive loss has made the person a better candidate for a hearing aid. You can still expect positive results with any medical treatment that can be done.