Current Hearing Loss Treatments – A Brief Review
The possible treatments for hearing loss are perhaps not as varied as the possible causes of this increasingly common condition, but there are certainly a number of quite different approaches to its management. Which of these will prove to be most appropriate in any given case is determined by a variety of factors, including the root cause of the symptoms and the extent to which the patient’s audition may be impaired.
In fact, in a surprising number of patients who present with quite pronounced symptoms, these are only the result of some underlying, but quite treatable condition, and in some cases, may even reverse spontaneously.
Even for such temporary hearing loss, however, appropriate treatments are the recommended route. One of the most common causes is a simple ear infection and it is among the most frequent reasons for a child to require medical attention. Swimming in less hygienic pools and opportunistic invasion by bacteria as a complication of colds and flu are the most likely causes for these infections. In most instances, they can be cleared up quite quickly with antibiotic ear drops and/or an oral equivalent.
When infections tend to recur, they can become more resistant and there is a high likelihood that the condition could become a chronic one, in which there is a risk that the hearing loss becomes permanent and that pharmaceutical treatments will no longer be a viable option. When this tendency is spotted early, surgical interventions, such as the removal of tonsils and adenoids, can be an effective preventative measure, as can the insertion of grommets into the eardrums via a procedure known as myringotomy.
Other causes of temporary deafness include adverse reactions to certain medication and acoustic shock. The former condition can often be reversed providing that the patient is taken of medication or switched to a safer alternative in time, but prompt action is always essential in order to avoid the damage becoming permanent. As for acoustic shock, loud noise has become the leading cause of permanent hearing loss and since no medical treatments exist, the only alternative will most often be an electronic hearing aid.
In practice, noise induced auditory impairment is a relatively modern phenomenon. It was first encountered among industrial workers and eventually addressed by legislation to introduce compulsory ear protection. Since, additional noise pollution has seen it becoming more widespread. Alarmingly, today, its incidence is highest in young people with a love of popular music and a tendency to play it as loud as possible, often directly into their ear canals with the help of an iPod, tablet or smartphone, and a pair of in-ear earphones.
We are all at risk of hearing loss and treatments are most effective when implemented early. While aging may be accompanied by a slow, natural lessening of acuity, other causes including prolonged exposure to excessive noise levels can lead to much earlier onset, with noise induced deafness already being diagnosed in children under 10. If people often hint that you could be deaf, they are probably right, especially if you work in a noisy environment.
Don’t take chances. The Ear Institute clinic near you can provide a thorough, professional audiology examination at medical aid approved tariffs and, if hearing loss is confirmed, propose or provide effective treatments.