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Overview

Hearing: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

How is the treatment done?

Hearing loss is a condition that may occur either gradually over a period of time, or suddenly due to trauma or some other disease. Loss of hearing may be of three types: Conductive, Sensorineural, or Mixed. Conductive hearing loss occurs due to problems in the outer and middle ear like deformations in ear canal and structures of middle ear, infection, common cold, allergy, damaged eardrum, earwax buildup, or foreign objects in the ear canal. Sensorineural hearing loss, also called nerve related hearing loss occurs due to problems of the inner ear. These include exposure to a sudden burst of loud noise or chronic exposure to loud noise over a prolonged period of time, a trauma of the head, infection or other disease, a genetic trend of developing hearing loss, ageing, defective development of inner ear structures, tumor, otosclerosis, etc. Otosclerosis is a genetic condition where a bony outgrowth develops around the ear ossicles stopping their vibrations with sound. It can be a cause for conductive hearing loss as well as sensorineural hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss occurs due to a combination of conductive and sensorineural causes of hearing loss.

Hearing loss treatment can be done in different ways. Earwax buildup cleaning as well as removal of foreign objects can be performed using small non invasive tools. Medications can restore hearing in a number of cases caused by external factors like infection or inflammation. Surgical treatment methods are also adopted in a number of cases. Hearing aids are used in cases where recovery of natural hearing is not possible.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Treatments for hearing loss depend on the condition causing it. Most non hereditary cases are usually reversible completely. Earwax buildup can be removed by small non invasive tools. Foreign objects stuck inside the ear can also be removed with similar tools. Hearing loss caused by cold or allergies can be corrected by curing the cold or allergic condition. Infections of the ear are treated with antimicrobial or antifungal drugs. Hearing loss due to acoustic trauma is treated with corticosteroidal drugs to reduce inflammation of the auditory hairs. Hearing loss due to trauma can be approached surgically with varying success rates. Tumors that affect the auditory nerve can be surgically removed, but hearing restoration may not be possible. Defects and malformations of the ear canal, middle ear, and inner ear need surgical intervention to be corrected. Otosclerosis is also corrected surgically. In case surgery does not work, a hearing aid is advised. Cochlear implants that directly stimulate the auditory nerve are used in cases where hearing loss cannot be managed or restored even by surgical methods and hearing aids cannot produce results as in case of otosclerosis.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Treatment for hearing loss is need by those who experience a loss in hearing, either slowly over a period of time, or suddenly due to a physical or an acoustic trauma. Those at risk include people who are exposed to loud noises regularly for a prolonged period of time, those with a known genetic history of hearing loss, those with malformed ear structures, those who have contracted an ear infection, or those who have gone through a head trauma such as fractured skull.

Are there any side effects?

People who do not have any indication of developing a permanent or long term hearing loss are excluded from the treatment. Sometimes a sudden loud noise can cause tinnitus or a ringing noise in the ear which is accompanied by loss of hearing. However, this loss is mostly temporary and hearing is restored normally in a few hours. No treatment for hearing loss is required in such cases.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Side effects of hearing loss treatments are usually minimal. There is a slight chance of infection if improperly sterilized instruments are used to clean earwax buildup or ear canal is damaged in any way. Long term use of corticosteroids has its own side effects. Hearing aids have a slight chance of causing ear canal damage or infection if they are improperly fitted.

How long does it take to recover?

If hearing is restored, no specific post treatment guidelines are required to be followed. Insertion of foreign objects into the ear canal by oneself is never advised. Surgical procedures need to be followed up with post treatment guidelines that are prescribed by a healthcare professional. Hearing aids need to be maintained and cleaned properly. Avoiding loud or noisy environments even for limited periods of time is always advisable.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Recovery period from hearing loss lasts as long as the treatment is carried out as all treatment methods that are successful are stopped upon restoration of hearing. In case of people with hearing aids or cochlear implants, variable lengths of time are required to adjust to hearing with their devices.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Medications for recovery from hearing loss are available under Rs. 1000. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can cost up to Rs. 3 lakhs. Surgical procedures cost more, but they do not necessarily restore hearing and patients need to adopt hearing aids as well.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Treatments for hearing loss are aimed to recover hearing if possible, or manage the decline in hearing if not. For people who recover natural hearing, the treatment results last for lifetime as long as another factor causing hearing loss does not set in. For those who need to use hearing aid, hearing is restored artificially and hence lasts for a lifetime.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have a problem of listening of voices that are not actually exist. My treatment are going on with phycratric doctor he prescribed me emetil 50 as main drug and an injection at the interval of 15 days which name he not open. After two months gap of injection the problem of hearing voices again start what I can do now?

BASLP (Bachelor of Audiology Speech Language Pathology)
Audiologist, Bhubaneswar
Hi there, I think you are suffering from tinnitus. Kindly visit your nearest hearing specialist or audiologist for tinnitus management. Try to ignore such sounds by keeping yourself busy like listening to music or by watching tv.

My right ear in block with mild hearing loss with cold and cough since 7 days. I try every massage and physiotherapy but no relief till now. This may be eus tube block. please tell about it. Almost medicine have taken ie azithro 500 and amoxy. Is this treatable or not. I am upset.

MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Faridabad
Hello. Eustachian tube block can happen during cold and cough episode. Did you also have fever? You need to start with decongestant medicines and nose drops containing xylometazoline to improve your clogged nose and relieve the swelling around eus...

My grandfather is in his 80s and he is lacking in power of hearing. Any suggestions. And what about the hearing machine/bud. Is that helpful and comfortable. Which is best.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is a partial or total inability to hear. A deaf person has little to no hearing. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears. Let's have a detailed discussion for better advice and healthy lifestyle.

From my ear some sticky and smelly water is coming also pus sometime .i feel like my ear is block m not clear with hearing and also pain is there.

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Cholesteatoma usually only affects one ear. The two most common symptoms are: a persistent or recurring watery, often smelly, discharge from the ear, which can come and go or may be continuous. A gradual loss of hearing in the affected ear. But we...

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