I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 5 years n I still have trouble hearing people clearly, I’m 30 years old and was told as I get older my hearing would get worse. I would like to know am I eligible to have surgery to restore hearing?
Thanks for your question. Today, luckily, there are many options for those of us with hearing losses. However, I cannot answer your individual question without knowing what kind of hearing loss you have.
Sensori-neural hearing losses involve damage to the nerves that control our hearing. This can be anywhere from the cochlea in the inner ear- into the brain where the impulses are decoded for us. Hearing losses of this kind are quite common- Most often, this type of loss is treated with the use of hearing aids. Newer digital aids offer exceptional improvements from older ones in terms of clarity. They should be matched to the needs of the individual by a hearing professional- for optimum results.
For those with severe or profound losses, today we are using cochlear implants. These transmit nerve impulses directly to the cochlea to improve hearing in those whose hearing losses can’t be well treated with hearing aids.
Conductive hearing losses are those involving the mechanical transference of sound waves to the inner ear. This can be caused by anything from wax, to holes in the ear drum, to problems with the hearing bones in the middle ear to fluid in the middle ear. These losses usually can be fixed- by removing the wax, repairing the hole in the ear drum, draining the fluid or by surgery to repair the hearing bones in the middle ear (stapedectomy).
Our website www.nyogmd.com has a section that explains how the ear works and hearing disorders in greater depth. Dr. Neil Sperling is the Director of Ear Care at NYOG.
Robert L Pincus MD