If you have hearing problems, help is available. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your hearing loss.
- Removing wax blockage. Earwax blockage is a common reversible cause of hearing loss. Your doctor may remove earwax by loosening it with oil and then flushing, scooping or suctioning the softened wax out.
- Hearing aids. If your hearing loss is due to damage to your inner ear, a hearing aid can help by making sounds stronger and easier for you to hear. An audiologist can discuss with you the potential benefits of using a hearing aid, recommend a device and fit you with it. In some cases, you may be satisfied with an inexpensive, over-the-ear microphone device available at electronic stores. You may need to try more than one device to find one that works well for you.
- Cochlear implants. If you have severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be an option for you. Unlike a hearing aid that amplifies sound and directs it into your ear canal, a cochlear implant compensates for damaged or nonworking parts of your inner ear. If you're considering a cochlear implant, your audiologist, along with a medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose and throat (ENT), can discuss the risks and benefits with you.