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 (even as long as three months or more) 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 9/10/2015
Angelique S Kelly Campen, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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