What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a medical condition that affects nearly 36 million people in the United States. There are two types of hearing loss – conductive hearing loss and nerve hearing loss.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when sounds have trouble making it into the inner ear. Causes include ear wax impactions, fluid in the middle ear or behind the eardrum, hole in the ear drum, or fixation of the small bones behind the ear drum that conduct sound vibration. A hearing test and/or CT scan or X-ray will be performed to determine the cause.
- Nerve hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear and this type of hearing loss is permanent.
Can hearing loss be treated?
Yes. Both types of hearing loss can be treated. Conductive hearing loss can be surgically repaired, while nerve hearing loss is best treated with hearing devices.
The treatment for conductive hearing loss is outpatient surgery and may last anywhere from 1 – 3 hours. It’s is done with a high-powered microscope in meticulous fashion, and since it’s a small area, there is typically no post-operative pain. There are several different procedures that can be used, including:
- Ossicular repair
- Widening of the ear canal
- Placement of middle ear tubes[AB1]
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