When you discover that you are experiencing hearing loss, one of the first questions that can pop into your head is can this be reversed? The simple answer is, maybe, but it depends on the type of hearing loss that you are experiencing. People tend to search out natural remedies for their hearing loss rather than invest in a hearing exam and wear a hearing aid. This is understandable as there is still some stigma around wearing a hearing aid. However, depending on the type of hearing loss, it can be possible to treat it, reverse it or manage it better than at home remedies can.
There are three types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss: Damage to the inner ear.
- Conductive Hearing loss: Damage or blockage in the outer ear.
- Mixed hearing loss: This is a mixture of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. This is a permanent loss of hearing which has been caused by damage to your auditory nerve or the cilia. These are tiny hairlike cells in your inner ear. Once these have been damaged, your auditory nerve and cilia cannot be repaired.
However, depending on the severity of the damage, sensorineural hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants. There is a high possibility that your hearing loss isn’t reversible if it is this type, but if it is spotted early, it can be easier to manage, and further damage can be prevented. However, it is possible to reverse the damage in some cases, but you need to seek out help as soon as you notice an issue.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is generally caused by an obstruction or damage to your outer or middle ear. This then prevents sound from travelling to your inner ear, creating a form of hearing loss. One of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is a blockage in the external ear canal, usually caused by earwax.
However, there can be other causes of conductive hearing loss. These can be infections of the ear canal, a perforated or ruptured eardrum. It is also possible that you have very small ears, cysts, tumors or objects in the ear canal. Finding objects in the ear canal is very common in small children.
Most cases of conductive hearing loss are temporary and can be cured by seeking out the appropriate medical treatment. This is why it is important to seek immediate medical assistance if you discover that you or a member of your family is experiencing some form of hearing loss. If it is not a temporary loss of hearing, the other types of conductive hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids or types of hearing implants.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a mixture of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. As we have seen, certain forms of conductive hearing loss can often be corrected with medical treatment. Meanwhile, sensorineural hearing loss is usually treated with hearing aids. For example, if you have age-related hearing loss, you might also have an issue with earwax. Both of these issues add up to a form of mixed hearing loss.
The treatment for mixed hearing loss can be medical treatment and the use of hearing aids. In our example above, you would need to have the earwax removed and a hearing aid fitted for age-related hearing loss. In some cases, implants or special types of hearing aids are needed when you have a mixed hearing loss.
As you can see, the type of hearing loss that you are experiencing may or may not be reversed. However, it is important to explore what is happening with your hearing as soon as possible if you notice any changes. If they are left unchecked, it is possible that an issue that was easily fixed can cause permanent damage. Do not leave it to chance and have your hearing check out before the issue cannot be reversed. There are many possible reasons why you might experience hearing loss so speak to your audiologist today.
If you would like to learn more about Albuquerque Hearing and Balance, get in touch. You can contact us by calling us today at (505) 750-9569. Our friendly staff is ready and waiting to take your call and discuss any concerns that you may have around hearing loss.