Hearing loss makes everyday activities like interacting with loved ones, watching TV and scheduling appointments much more difficult than many realize. It’s little wonder why getting a hearing loss diagnosis can be an emotional and challenging time.
With medical technology rapidly advancing, you may be wondering whether it’s possible for your hearing to be restored, or whether there is some sort of “quick fix” for hearing loss. While neither of these is the case, that doesn’t mean there are not promising options on the horizon.
Can Drugs Cure Hearing Loss?
Today, there are very limited circumstances where hearing loss can be cured with drugs alone. In some cases of sudden hearing loss, steroids may be injected into the ear or taken orally to reduce inflammation. When administered promptly, this can help some people regain their full hearing.
Are There Other Options?
Currently, there are no other drug options available that can cure or reverse the effects of hearing loss; however, there is research currently underway on a drug that could do just that.
The inner ears contain tiny hair cells called stereocilia, which convert soundwaves into electrical impulses the brain interprets as sound. It was once believed that when these cells become damaged and die, they cannot be regrown, and permanent hearing loss is the result. However, a drug called FX-322 may change this.
The study on this drug began in October 2019, and it’s currently in phase two. This means the drug’s safety and dosing must be worked out before larger trials can begin. This research is significant for people with sensorineural hearing loss since the condition once thought to be permanent may one day be reversible.
Can Surgery Cure Hearing Loss?
There is no surgery that can fully cure or reverse hearing loss, but there are many options that can restore hearing enough to make communication possible.
- Cochlear implants are for people with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss; they work by bypassing the damaged parts of the inner ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve.
- Bone anchored hearing aids are suitable for those with single-sided deafness or conductive hearing loss; they help transmit sounds to the inner ear via skull and jaw bones.
- Stapedectomy is a procedure for people whose bones in the middle ear become misshapen and prevent sounds from passing through.
To learn more about better hearing so you can enjoy communicating with loved ones at a socially-distanced gathering at Golden Gate Park or to schedule an appointment with an expert, call San Francisco Audiology today.