Ask an expert

25 Oct 2009

I was tested for hearing loss about 10 years ago and again about 6 months ago .
The first diagnosis revealed 30% hearing loss in my left ear, presumably from rifle shooting in the army when I once
expirienced total deafness for about 5 minutes
The second test revealed my hearing had deteriated further. I have had a hearing aid since my first diagnosis but hardly use it as I can hear quit well. My wife complains as the high notes are sometimes a problem or when someone whispers.
I am 66 years old and there isn' t really heridatory problems although my father who died at 96 was quite hard of hearing in his latter years but didnt wear a hearing aid.
My questions are
1 Would wearing a hearing aid actually improve the health of my hearing and would it be a good idea to wear one?
2. If so I believe technology has improved substantially since i bought my hearing aid ( cost then R10.000) and any particular recommendation on hearing aids?
3 I have recently been diagnosed with a slight inflamation on the ear drums more so on the partially deaf ear (although the E+T Dr. didn' t pick this up! ) Obviously must be treated although a recent course of penacilan has not helped.
Be very grateful for your advice
Answer 424 views
ENT Expert
ENT Expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Angus

1. Wearing hearing aids will most defenitely help in maintaining your hearing for as long as possible. Using the aids promote stimulation of the neural pathways in the brain, and by not using your aids, you lose the stimulation of that part of the neural pathway. The end result is that the pathways shut down, and your brain will not reactivate that. Even a stronger aid will have no effect at that stage - as the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it!
It takes about 6 months to get used to wearing a hearing aid, but once you are used to it, the benefits are substantial. Wearing it on and of will have no benefit, as you should train your brain to react to the new way of hearing sound that you would otherwise not hear.

2. Technology has indeed improved. Consult an audiologist for information on the latest models, etc.

3. Topical treatment (ear drops) are the only way to improve this. Get a prescription from your doctor.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9467 votes
68% - 20217 votes