There are many different types of options available to deal with hearing loss, ranging from medical treatments to listening devices. Whatever treatment you receive will depend on the cause and severity of hearing loss. There aren’t cures for all types of hearing loss, but hearing aids will help treat the problem and improve your quality of life.
There are many different types of hearing aids, such as:
- Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC)- This hearing aid is placed deep within the ear canal and is completely invisible. It’s a great option for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Completely-in-Canal (CIC)- This hearing aid is also completely invisible within the ear canal, however there is a clear tab on the hearing aid to place and remove it. It is also good for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)- This allows the speaker of the hearing aid to sit in the ear canal and is out of sight, but is connected to the amplifier behind the ear by wires instead of tubing. It is a good option for mild to severe hearing loss.
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)- This type of hearing aid allows the speaker to be hidden within the ear canal. The speaker is attached to a clear, thin tube that is connected to the amplifier which sits behind the ear. This is a good option for those with moderate to severe hearing loss.
A cochlear implant is a small and complex electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person that is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. The implant is made of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second part that is surgically placed under the skin. An implant is made of:
- A microphone- which picks up sound
- A speech processor- which selects and arranges sounds that are picked up by the microphone
- A transmitter and receiver/stimulator- which receives signals from the processor and converts them into electric impulses
- An electrode array- which is a group of electrodes that collects impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.
Tinnitus can be difficult to treat and manage, however there are certain methods and coping strategies that can be helpful to help a person adjust to the changes that come with tinnitus. Some examples are:
- Counseling and Education- This can include learning about biofeedback to help control stress and your reaction to tinnitus sounds, talking with a counselor, or joining a support group.
- Masking Devices- Some people may choose to sleep with a white noise machine in order to help them sleep or relax.
- Avoid Loud Noises- Exposure to loud noises can exacerbate hearing problems and may trigger tinnitus.
There are many different types of corrective measures that your audiologist can prescribe to you depending on what your hearing issue is, so if you are struggling with any type of hearing issues, make sure to call your audiologist as soon as possible!