Depending on the type and severity of your hearing loss, you may be able to restore some degree of hearing. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Consulting your audiologist will help you find the best course of action.
Conductive, Sensorineural and Mixed Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss that will determine the treatment you’ll receive.
- Conductive: This kind of hearing loss occurs when an obstruction or damage prevents your outer or middle ear from sending sound to your auditory nerve. Causes include earwax blockages, tumors, bone growths or separation of the bones in your middle ear.
- Sensorineural: Permanent damage to the hair cells in your inner ear means they cannot transmit signals to your auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noises and age-related hearing degradation.
- Mixed: This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing Aids as Treatment
With sensorineural hearing loss, your auditory nerve doesn’t receive the signals needed to stimulate the part of your brain that interprets sound. Hearing aids increase the volume and help your hair cells catch sound signals they weren’t receiving. Treatment does not reverse hearing loss but can mitigate the severity of your symptoms.
Surgeries to Correct Hearing Loss
- Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA): These surgically implanted devices attach to the mastoid bone behind your ear. If you have malformations in your outer ear or canal, you may require a BAHA to send vibrations to your inner ear.
- Cochlear implants: If you have severe hearing loss, you may be able to restore some of your hearing with a cochlear implant. Receivers are implanted under the skin behind your ear and bypass damaged hair cells to send signals to electrodes in your inner ear.
- Stapedectomy: This procedure involves removing and replacing an overgrown stape bone in the innermost portion of the inner ear. The prosthesis allows for a better transfer of sound.
Do Alternative Remedies Cure Hearing Loss?
Injectable and oral steroids are often used to treat ear inflammation that causes temporary hearing loss. Currently, there are no other drugs that conclusively treat hearing loss. Essential oils and certain herbs and antioxidants are popular home remedies, but there’s no evidence that proves their effectiveness. Consult your doctor before considering any at-home treatment.