Skip to content

50+: Live Better, Longer

4 Steps to Severe Hearing Loss Treatment

Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Feature

When I was a kid, phone conversations with my grandmother went something like this:

"Hello?"

Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

Caregivers, the Elderly, and Driving

Transportation can be a sensitive and tricky issue for elderly drivers and their caregivers. How do you know if your loved one is still safe to drive? How will he feel when he no longer has the freedom to go where he wants? And if he can't drive, are you thrust into the role of chauffeur, or are there other options? Here are some tips for caregivers to consider. Have an open dialogue. If it's possible, caregivers should keep their loved ones involved in the discussion about driving. Find...

Read the Caregivers, the Elderly, and Driving article > >

"Hi, Grandma. It's me, Stephanie!"

(Pause) "Hello?"

(Louder) "Hi, Grandma!"

"Hello?"

(Shouting) "HI, GRANDMA!!!"

Click.

At family gatherings, my relatives got so tired of repeating themselves that they left Grandma out of conversations. Even as a kid, I realized how isolated she must have felt due to her severe hearing loss.

My grandmother never got a hearing aid because she worried that wearing a huge piece of equipment behind her ear would alert the whole world to her hearing loss. Anyone who shares the same fear today should know this:

Times have changed. These aren't your grandma's hearing aids.

"I like to say that the hearing loss is more visible to others than the hearing aid," says Pam Mason, director of audiology professional practices at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). "Hearing aids today are behind the ear, very small, with a tiny wire that goes down into your ear canal. They truly are invisible."

Hearing aids are not the only hearing loss treatments available. There are other options, including middle ear implants and cochlear implants. But before you can get a hearing aid or any other hearing device, you need to first find out what's causing your hearing loss.

Step 1: Get Your Hearing Evaluated

The time to see a specialist is as soon as you start experiencing signs of hearing loss:

  • You're turning up the TV or radio volume louder than usual
  • You have ringing in your ears
  • You have trouble distinguishing conversations from background noise
  • Your family and friends have to repeat themselves
  • You have difficulty hearing on the telephone
  • You notice a difference between the right and left ear

The hearing evaluation and treatment typically involve a team of specialists that includes an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, also called an otolaryngologist, and an audiologist.

"The first thing is to do a complete evaluation of the patient from a head and neck standpoint and understand the nature of the hearing loss," explains Anand K. Devaiah, MD, FACS, associate professor in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Boston University School of Medicine.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

blueberries
Eating for a longer, healthier life.
romantic couple
Dr. Ruth’s bedroom tips for long-term couples.
 
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
 
fast healthy snack ideas
Article
how healthy is your mouth
Tool
 
dog on couch
Tool
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
champagne toast
Slideshow
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Quiz
 
Man feeding woman
Slideshow
two senior women laughing
Article