If you cannot determine the cause of your hearing loss, see a doctor. Other symptoms that require a trip to the doctor include the following:
Do not delay getting medical attention if your hearing loss is associated with any of the following:
When the cause of the hearing loss is unknown, it is best to seek medical attention
Many treatments are available for permanent hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss is usually permanent and progresses with each exposure. Use proper ear protection when working around loud noises.
Never put foreign objects in the ear.
Treat middle ear infections as soon as possible. Hearing loss may be prevented by prompt treatment. Most doctors believe that fluid in the middle ear (called an effusion) lasting longer than 6 weeks should be drained and tympanostomy tubes (ear tubes) placed in the middle ear.
If you are taking medications that can cause hearing loss, your doctor should carefully monitor their levels with blood tests.
The likelihood that hearing will return depends on the cause of the hearing loss.
Hearing will usually return to normal with removal of foreign bodies in the canal, removal of wax in the canal, and treatment of ear canal infections (obits external).
Hearing will usually return to normal after treatment of middle ear infection (obits media).
Injuries to the tympanic membrane will usually heal on their own. Once healed, hearing usually returns to normal.
Hearing loss due to drugs may or may not return with withdrawal of the drug.
Hearing loss due to infections such as meningitis may not return. The doctor may try using steroids during the illness to decrease the amount of hearing loss.
Hearing loss due to Menifee disease, acoustic neuronal, and age is usually permanent.
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