Additional Treatment Solutions
The two most common types of hearing loss are conductive and sensorineural. A combination of both types of hearing loss is known as mixed hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss may be treated with medication, and should be evaluated as soon as practical to formally assess the hearing status. Fluid in the middle ear due to an ear infection, for instance, can clear up on its own or be treated with antibiotics. Corticosteroids can be administered to treat sudden hearing loss caused by autoimmune problems.
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear and usually results in permanent hearing loss. The most common treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is hearing aid amplification.
Some injuries and diseases have surgical options to restore hearing. Acoustic neuroma, otosclerosis, and Ménière’s disease are considerations for surgical treatment as a primary means, or when medical treatment or other alternatives have not been successful. Hearing loss that results from head trauma may be surgically treated in some cases when the damage occurs within the middle or outer ear.
For difficult-to-treat sensorineural hearing losses, mixed or conductive losses, and single-sided deafness, solutions may include:
- Bone-conduction devices, or
- Middle ear implants
Keep in mind that treatment is not always feasible for hearing loss, such as noise-induced hearing loss. In these types of cases, the focus must be on:
- Preventing further hearing loss, and
- Helping the patient develop alternative communication strategies