Hearing loss can have a wide range of possible causes and can occur in the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and sometimes even the auditory nerve.
Whether it’s due to age, too much loud noise, or certain types of illnesses, just about all of us will experience temporary or permanent hearing loss during our lives. While many types of hearing loss aren’t reversible, there are some cases where hearing loss can be treated naturally.
Below we’ve covered some of the most common types of hearing loss, and whether or not you can treat them naturally. Keep in mind, with any sort of hearing loss, it’s always recommended that you consult a medical professional or visit a Connect Hearing center.
Types of Hearing Loss You can Treat Naturally
Hearing loss caused by excess earwax
An overproduction of earwax can easily build in the ear canal resulting in reduced hearing, but the good news is this is reversible. A natural remedy for hearing loss caused by excess earwax is removal of the buildup.
The Mayo Clinic recommends softening the ear wax for easy removal. If this natural remedy does not work and you still have trouble hearing, you can purchase an earwax removal kit from your local drugstore or you can consult your hearing care professional to discuss other options.
While it may be tempting, experts recommend that you stay away from other popular methods of wax removal like cotton swabs, hairpins, paperclips or candling. These methods of earwax removal may cause further damage and injuries such as burns, further ear canal obstruction, and even perforations.
Hearing loss caused by a foreign body
Debris lodged in the ear canal can also cause a temporary loss of hearing. Fortunately, reversing this type of hearing loss is relatively simple. Hearing loss treatment for a blocked ear canal sometimes requires a visit to the doctor so they can expertly remove the foreign body safely and without causing further damage.
Types of Hearing Loss You Can Treat with Medication
Hearing loss caused by an outer ear infection
A bacterial infection can sometimes form in the outer ear canal. This is usually caused by contaminated water in swimming pools, hence “swimmer’s ear.” Fortunately, this type of hearing loss is rarely permanent. Medications can be prescribed to reverse hearing loss, pain, and itching that may be caused by the infection.
Hearing loss caused by a middle ear infection
A middle ear infection is much more painful than an outer ear infection. It is caused by a virus and significantly reduces your ability to hear. Just like an outer ear infection, you can reverse your hearing loss with the proper medication to alleviate pain and restore hearing.
Hearing loss caused by a burst ear drum
A perforated ear drum can be caused by a variety of reasons including: damage done by foreign bodies, middle ear infections, a punch to the ear, or a loud noise. An injured ear drum can naturally heal itself over time if kept dry, but if the ear drum does not heal on its own, surgery can be done to restore hearing.
Types of Hearing Loss You Cannot Treat Naturally
Hearing loss caused by Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is a disease affecting the bone surrounding the inner ear. This inflammatory process causes an abnormal bone to form and impacts the stirrup bone, the smallest bone in the human body. Over time, hearing loss as well as tinnitus can occur. Unfortunately, this disease cannot be treated by medications, but surgery can be done to restore your previous natural hearing abilities in this instance.
Hearing loss caused by aging
Age-related hearing loss (presbyacusis) often occurs between the ages of 45-65. Both ears are usually affected and is caused by damage to the fragile hair cells in the cochlea, ultimately leading to a reduced signal to the auditory nerve. There are no natural remedies for hearing loss caused by aging, but hearing can improve through the use of hearing aids.
Hearing loss caused by acoustic trauma
Damage to the inner ear caused by a very loud noise (i.e. an explosion or gunshot) can result in hearing loss. The good news is your hearing will usually be restored on its own within hours or even a couple of days, but permanent damage can sometimes occur. If you experience permanent damage from acoustic trauma, today’s modern hearing aids and hearing technology can help restore even severe hearing losses caused by acoustic trauma.
Hearing loss caused by toxicity of the nerve cells
Ototoxicity, toxicity of the nerve cells, describes the harmful effects of certain substances to the inner ear. Sometimes hearing damage can be healed with continued drug therapy. However, if nerve cells are affected, damage can become permanent. If this is the case, hearing aids are a good option to help significantly improve your hearing abilities.
While hearing loss is not always reversible, there are multiple benefits of treating any hearing loss you are experiencing: greater self-confidence, closer relationships with family and friends, less depression, and an improved outlook on life overall.
If you are exhibiting signs of hearing loss, contact your neighborhood Connect Hearing location and schedule a free hearing evaluation with one of our Hearing Consultants.