Hearing Loss (cont.)
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 (otitis externa).
- Hearing will usually return to normal after treatment of middle ear infection (otitis media).
- Antibiotics are usually given for 7-14 days.
- Rarely, a second course of different antibiotics may be necessary if the infection does not respond to the first type of antibiotic.
- It may, however, take a longer period of time for the fluid in the middle ear to resolve completely and the hearing to return to normal.
- Injuries to the tympanic membrane will usually heal on their own. Once healed, hearing usually returns to normal.
- If the perforation is large (bigger than 50% of the membrane), surgery may be required to fix the eardrum.
- A skin graft is sometimes used to replace or fix the tympanic membrane.
- Hearing loss due to drugs may or may not return with withdrawal of the drug.
- No proven treatment restores the hearing other than removal of the drug.
- Some doctors may try giving drugs known as steroids to restore hearing.
- 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 Ménière disease, acoustic neuroma, and age is usually permanent.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/4/2014
Angelique S Kelly Campen, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Must Read Articles Related to Hearing Loss
Ear infections are one of the most common infection in children. Environmental and anatomy problems occur and some children are prone to multiple ear infections...learn more >>
Earache is pain in the ear. An earache can be caused by infections or fungus. There are types of ear infections to include otitis externa, otitis externa (swimm...learn more >>
Earwax, or cerumen, is a substance produced by the glands in the outer ear. Earwax has a purpose, and that is to trap dust and other small particles and prevent...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hearing Loss: