A hearing loss procedure is designed for repairing a problem in the inner ear or nearby regions of the brain. Hearing loss can occur in any age group, but it primarily affects older adults. It can be caused by illness, ear-damaging drugs, exposure to loud noise, tumors, head injury or ageing process. Hearing loss can also be inherited from your parents. Hearing loss occurs when the inner ear is damaged: when the hairs or nerve cells that send sound signals to the brain are damaged or missing, sound signals are not transmitted efficiently, causing hearing impairment. There are a few procedures that can help restoring hearing, depending on the causes of hearing loss.
The most common procedures to treat hearing loss include cochlear implants, stapes surgery, tympanoplasty, and myringotomy surgery. A cochlear implant is a device that carries sound signals from the cochlea (the auditory portion of the ear) to the brain through the auditory nerve. Stapes surgery, also known as stapedectomy, involves the partial or total removal of the stapes, a bone located in the middle of the ear that may be the cause of hearing impairment. A tympanoplasty involves the reconstruction of the eardrum, the membrane of the middle ear that vibrates in response to sound waves. Myringotomy surgery is a surgical procedure in which a tiny incision is made on the eardrum to relieve pressure caused by a buildup of fluid, thus improving hearing. Recovery times vary for each procedure, and also the time needed to understand if the procedure was successful depends on the extent of surgery as well as on an individual basis.