Hearing Loss Treatments

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,739
    Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) discusses treatment options for hearing loss.

    Barbara Kelley: Hi! I'm Barbara Kelley form the Hearing Loss Association of America. Hearing loss can be due many different Causes. Some of which cab be successfully treated with medicine or surgery depending on the disease. Hearing loss can be conductive from problems with the ear canal, ear drum or middle ear with its little bones, the malleus, incus and stapes. Types of conductive Loss, congenital absence of ear canal or failure of ear canal to be open at birth, congenital absence, malformation or dysfunction of middle ear structures, all of which may possibly be surgically corrected. If these are not amenable to successful surgical correction then the hearing alternatively may be improved with amplification with the surgically implanted Bone Anchored Hearing Device, commonly referred to us the Baha or a conventional hearing aid, depending on the status of the hearing nerve. Other Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss are,- Infection - Tumors - Middle ear fluid from infection - Eustachian tube dysfunction- Foreign Body - Trauma as in a skull fracture. Acute infections are usually treated with antibiotic or anti-fungal medications. Chronic ear infections, chronic middle fluid and tumors usually require surgery. If there is no response to initial medical therapy infectious middle ear fluid is usually treated with antibiotics, while chronic non-infectious middle ear fluid is treated with surgery or pressure equalizing tubes. Conductive Hearing Loss from head trauma is frequently amenable to surgical repair of the damaged middle ear structures. Otosclerosis, a genetic form of conductive hearing loss. There is bony fixation of the stapes, the third little bone of hearing in the middle ear, sound cannot get to middle ear, Otosclerosi can be successfully managed with surgery to replace the immobile stapes with the mobile stapes prosthesis or with a hearing aid. If hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, then it's classified as sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural Hearing Loss can result from acoustic trauma or exposure to excessively loud noise which may respond to medical therapy with corticosteroids to reduce cochlea hair cell swelling and inflammation to improve healing of these injured inner ear structures. Sensorineural Hearing Loss can occur from head trauma or abrupt changes in air pressure, such as an airplane's descent which can cause inner ear fluid compartment rupture or leakage, which can be toxic to the inner ear. There has been variable success with emergency surgery when this happens. Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss presumed to be of viral origin as an otologic emergency that is medically treated with corticosteroids. Bilateral Progressive Hearing loss over a several months also diagnosed as Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) is managed medically with long-term corticosteroids and sometimes with drug therapy. Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease is when the body's immune system misdirects its defenses against inner ear structures to cause damage in this part of the body.

    Fluctuating Sensorineural hearing loss may be from unknown causes or associated with Meniere's disease. Symptoms of Meniere's Disease are,- Hearing Loss - Tinnitus or ringing in the ears - Vertigo Meniere's disease may be treated medically with a low sodium diet, diuretics and corticosteroids. If the vertigo is not medically controlled then various surgical procedure are used to eliminate the vertigo. Sensorineural Hearing Loss from tumors of the balance nerve adjacent to the hearing nerve generally are not reversed with surgical removal or a radiation of these benign tumors. If hearing loss is mild and tumors are small, hearing may be saved in 50% of those undergoing hearing preservation surgery for tumor removal. Sensorineural Hearing Loss from disease in the central nervous system may respond to medical management for the specific disease affecting the nervous system. For example, hearing loss secondary to multiple sclerosis may be reversed with treatment for multiple sclerosis. Irreversible sensorineural Hearing Loss not manageable with medical treatment or with hearing aids can be surgically treated with cochlear implants. So these are the options available, if you're hearing loss can be treated medically or surgically.