Some hearing loss is temporary, however, most forms of hearing loss are permanent and need an early diagnosis for treatment to be successful and to help you hear better again. In this article, we discuss the options that are available from both your local ENT clinic and audiologist.
Sensorineural is a type of hearing loss that is permanent. The hair cells that are damaged can't be repaired. People suffering from this type of hearing loss, are generally advised to wear hearing aids by an audiologist. In some circumstances, cochlear implants are recommended instead. Either way, your audiologist will discuss what treatment to take based on your specific hearing loss needs.
The hearing aids of today are highly advanced and can be personalised to cater for your own unique hearing loss. Amplifying the sounds you need to hear better, as well as reducing those that you don't. Hearing aids can be worn behind the ear or in the ear, it all depends on what level of hearing loss you have - or in some cases - what shape your inner ear canal is for ITE hearing aids to sit comfortably and safely.
Find out more about hearing aid types here
Conductive hearing loss is generally caused by a condition in the outer or middle ear - this is usually temporary. It is quite common that a build-up of earwax is the culprit, as well as fluid in the middle ear, a perforated eardrum or 'wet ear'.
This form of hearing loss is commonly treated medically at your ENT clinic. However, if all efforts to sort the problem are exhausted - or the hearing loss is a mix of both sensorineural and conductive - then other options like hearing aids are usually advised.
Generally, all hearing aids are constructed the same, but they have big differences in the quality of sound captured and clarity of speech understanding. For instance, the better the quality of hearing aid - the more realistic the listening experience will be. Below is a breakdown of how a hearing aid works.
Small microphones pick up the sounds around you
These sounds are analysed by a processing chip
These processed sounds are then sent to the amplifier
Amplified sounds are then sent to the loudspeaker
Then the sounds are sent by the loudspeaker into the inner ear, through tubing in an ear mould in the ear canal, or through a thin wire to a receiver in the ear
In the inner ear, these sounds switch to electrical impulses
Impulses are finally sent to the brain where they are processed into the sounds you hear
Find out more about how audiograms work here
Find out more about our free at-home hearing tests here
Find out more about our free at-home hearing aid fittings here
It is important to remember that if you think you have any form of hearing loss you need to seek medical help urgently. Help, support and treatment is available locally to you - either through the NHS or with a private audiologist. Contact one of our audiologists for any advice on your hearing loss or hearing healthcare concerns free on 0800 567 7621
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.