If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, you might be wondering what the next steps are. Presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss, is the most prevalent form of hearing loss in the world. Hair cells in our ears lose their ability to operate properly as we age, and finally stop functioning entirely. Hearing loss affects about half of all older adults.
Hearing loss induced by aging is a sensorineural hearing loss, meaning it starts in the inner ear or auditory nerve. Excessive noise is a major risk factor for this form of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent; destroyed hair cells cannot be restored. Hearing aids are the most effective treatment for most types of hearing loss.
While gradual hearing loss is common with age, it should not be ignored. Hearing is a vital link to the world, both for safety and for quality of life. If you are experiencing hearing loss, get treatment from a qualified audiologist, who can support you in finding the right solution for you.
Treatments for hearing loss
There are numerous treatments available to address hearing loss, whether you are experience mild or more severe symptoms. Your audiologist will work closely with you to diagnose your degree of hearing loss, which will help them better recommend the right treatment plan for your specific needs. The most common options include:
If your audiologist suggests hearing aids, they will work with you to tune them to your unique hearing loss throughout the fitting process. Hearing aids are not a cure or a healer of the sense of hearing. A hearing aid is designed to amplify sound. They can now be tailored to your exact hearing needs, enhancing the noises you need and reducing the ones you don’t. They don’t completely replicate normal hearing, but they function well for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Depending on the level of hearing loss and personal preference, hearing aids can be worn either behind the ear or in the ear. There are numerous varieties and styles to choose from. And if you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids are significantly better than one.
The most common hearing aid styles include:
- Behind the ear (BTE)
- In the ear (ITE)
- In the canal (ITC)
- Completely in canal (CIC)
- Invisible in canal (IIC)
The style your audiologist recommends will depend on your aesthetic preferences, level of hearing loss and dexterity.
Auditory rehabilitation and training
Auditory training or rehab can help the brain relearn how to turn noise into sound. Your audiologist will work closely with you to determine what course of treatment is best for your personal needs and preferences, whether that is simply hearing aids or includes additional training, as well.