Hearing Loss Management
Some types of hearing loss may sometimes get better without any intervention, or be resolved with simple procedures like Earwax Microsuction, Myringoplasty or Grommet Insertion, but other types of hearing loss may require treatment. Where hearing loss is permanent there are many treatments available that work to maximise the remaining hearing. The right treatment will depend upon the cause of hearing loss and if it is the hearing organ that is affected or its nerve connection to the brain.
Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn in your ear that make sounds louder and clearer. Today’s hearing aids are smart, sophisticated and designed to set-and-forget. A specialist will be able to advise if a hearing aid is suitable, and which type would be best from the many different types available.
The most common type are those that go around the top and back of the ear. Smaller in the ear hearing aids fit into the opening of the ear, and very small in the canal hearing aids fit a bit further into the opening of the ear, so they’re just visible.
Where hearing aids aren’t suitable, hearing implants can be fitted inside or onto the skull. Common types of implant include bone anchored hearing aids, cochlear implants, auditory brainstem implants and middle ear implants.
Bone anchored hearing aids may be an option when hearing loss is caused by sound being unable to reach the inner ear. Attached to the skull during a minor operation the hearing aid will pick up sound and send it to the inner ear by vibrating the bones near the ear.
Cochlear implants turn sound into electrical signals and send them to part of the inner ear called the cochlea. From here, the signals travel to the brain and are heard as sound. The implant will only work if the nerve that sends sound to the brain (auditory nerve) is working properly.
Auditory brainstem implants may be an option when permanent hearing loss is severe and there’s a problem with the auditory nerve. It follows the same principle as a cochlear implant, but the electrical sound signals are sent directly to the brain along wires, instead of to the cochlea.
Middle ear implants consist of a device attached to the skin that picks up sound and turns it into an electrical signal and a device under the skin that picks up these signals and sends them along a wire to the small hearing bones deep in the ear, which causes them to vibrate and pass sound into your inner ear and brain.
Because hearing loss can often be gradual, it can often go unrecognised, or is viewed as something we just need to adapt to. Hearing aids and implants can’t restore full hearing but can vastly improve hearing loss and quality of life. Patients who have treatment for hearing loss will often say they wish they hadn’t waited so long.
In some cases, conductive hearing loss can be treated with surgery.
Ossiculoplasty can be performed to treat conductive hearing loss by reconstructing the ossicles within the middle ear (the malleus, incus, stapes).
Stapes Surgery (a stapedectomy) can treat conductive hearing loss caused by a problem called otosclerosis, by removing part of the fixed stapes bone in the middle ear.
You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Hearing Loss Management treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at either the One Ashford Hospital or One Hatfield Hospital.
Why One Healthcare
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in March 2016 (Ashford) December 2017 (Hatfield)
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, Xray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience