Hearing loss is not just something to joke about after enjoying a holiday with your older relatives. While the image of one of your wacky uncles mishearing certain words may be amusing in retrospect, the reality is there are a number of issues he could be dealing with. To understand better, imagine straining every time someone began to speak; or imagine understanding only about 60% of everything that is being said. The feeling is equivalent to living in a foreign country and never being able to learn the language. This sort of permanent frustration can lead to isolation and hopelessness. It is no laughing matter. Fortunately, hearing problems can be addressed in a variety of ways. Depending on the specific condition, you may find a way to hear more without undergoing surgery or recurring treatments. Here are some of the ways that hearing problems are addressed.
1. Antibiotic treatments. For some people, problems started to appear right around the arrival of a bad flu or ear infection. Once the symptoms of a head cold disappeared, the blocked ear canals continued to haunt them. Ear infections may be caused by the cold itself or be the result of some other problem; taking antibiotics can reverse the course of fluid and eventually clear the path to the ear canals. A full recovery is often achieved.
2. Surgery and/or steroidal treatments. In the case of injuries to the head, hearing loss may accompany a concussion. The same goes for direct blows to the ear. Once the pain and shock wear off, the patient’s ability to hear may return. In some cases, surgery may be required to restore the most damaged parts. For diseases which are afflicting an individual – such as Meniere’s disease or otosclerosis – a steroidal treatment may be necessary.
3. Ear wax removal. While it may sound ludicrous, ear wax can have a major impact on a person’s ability to hear. Typical methods of removing wax can actually exacerbate the problem. If you think ear wax may be inhibiting your ability to hear, ask your doctor about the best methods of removal.