Can Surgery Correct Hearing Loss?
Hearing Loss Sugery is Possible
Close to 48 million Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss that affects their everyday lives. Aspects affected include relationships, health, communication and even careers. If you have a hearing impairment, you may have a question in your mind as to whether it’s possible to have surgery to restore your hearing. Generally, it depends on certain factors. Surgery to correct a hearing impairment is possible with certain types of loss, but only a small number of people are good candidates for the procedure.
Surgery for Sensorineural Hearing Impairment
Most people who have hearing loss have a sensorineural hearing impairment. This type of loss involves damage to the nerves in the ear, also known as “nerve deafness.” There are a number of causes for this condition, including infection, disease, old age, tumors, medications and exposure to sudden and consistent loud noise.
This type of hearing impairment is present when the hair cells in the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain have suffered damage. The hair cells, which are located in the cochlea, help you to understand sounds that go through the ear so that the brain can interpret them as recognizable sounds.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, which means that surgery cannot repair the damage to the hair cells. At the same time, surgery can possibly help that bypasses the damaged cells. Generally, cochlear implants may help individuals with severe to profound hearing impairments.
Another option for people with this type of hearing impairment is implantable hearing aids. The hearing aid is worn inside the ear for several months at a time and is water-resistant and worn even when you’re sleeping. Speak with your hearing care professional for more information about an implantable hearing aid.
Surgery for Conductive Hearing Impairment
A conductive hearing impairment is caused by an obstruction or damage to the outer or middle ear and may be temporary or permanent. Sound is blocked from reaching the inner ear with this type of loss. Sometimes, surgery or another type of medical assistance can help to restore hearing.
One type of surgery involves the PE tubing procedure. Children who have a conductive hearing impairment due to an infection that doesn’t clear up on its own are good candidates for it. Surgery involves the insertion of small tubes known as pressure equalization (PE) tubes to allow air to reach the middle ear. Adults may also have this type of surgery to correct a conductive hearing impairment.
A stapedectomy can be performed to treat otosclerosis, a conductive hearing impairment that is caused by the hardening of bone tissue in the middle ear. There are three types of otosclerosis. Surgery can help a person to hear better and alleviate symptoms like tinnitus and dizziness.
If you are curious about possibly getting surgery to correct your hearing impairment, talk with one of our hearing care professionals at Chicago Beltone to learn what options might be available to you.