There are many causes to deafness problems. It could be genetic, from an accident, an illness or the side effects of medication. One thing you have to keep in mind though is that it is not an illness but a symptom of an underlying disorder.
Deafness problems can be classified into two namely conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. The first one can be treated surgically or medically. The second cannot be corrected which is why the use of implants is very common.
Your doctor will only know the degree of your deafness problem after reviewing the results of the audiology test.
There are different types of conductive hearing loss. These are namely blocked Eustachian tubes, fluid in the ear, infection, infected mastoid bone, otosclerosis, ruptured eardrums and wax buildup.
If you happen to have blocked Eustachian tubes, the doctor will have to insert tubes to the eardrum to stop the blockage.
Fluid in the ear is usually caused by an infection. It may go away on its own which is why doctors will wait and see what happens before draining it after making a small incision in the ear drum.
In the event that you have an ear infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics or eardrops.
If there is an infection with the mastoid bone, this can be treated with antibiotics and in some cases may involve surgery.
Ruptured eardrums similar to fluid in the ear can heal on its own or with the use of an antibiotic. If there are no changes, then the doctor may have to perform surgery.
The only way to treat otosclerosis is an operation. The doctor will go in and replace the damaged bones of the middle ear and put in tiny metal replacements.
Should there be a wax buildup, a trained professional will first do a probe and then use either water irrigation or a suction device to remove the wax.
As mentioned earlier, there is no way to permanently treat sensorineural hearing problems. The only thing that doctors can recommend is a cochlear implant. Installing this device will allow the person to hear.
This is different from a hearing aid because the implant does not amplify sound but works directly by stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with electric field stimulated through an electric impulse.
The cochlear implant consists of a microphone, speech processor and an RF transmitter. According to one study, more than 100,000 people have had cochlear implants.
Why so low you might ask? This is because cochlear implants are very expensive. It may cost between $40,000 to $100,000 depending on an individual’s needs and the center at which the surgery is performed. Those who have undergone the procedure say it was worth it because it helps them read lips better.
So if you had the money, does this mean you can have a cochlear implant? Not yet because you must have certain requirements. You must have severe or profound sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears, have a functioning auditory nerve otherwise it won’t work, have good communication skills, tried other hearing aids with no improvement, fit to undergo surgery and have facility close by to monitor your progress.
Treating deafness problems could be both easy and complicated. If you want to hear, you have to see a doctor to find out what is wrong before any option is presented on the table.