Ask an Audiologist – Can Hearing Aids Restore My Aunt’s Hearing after Surgery?
We all know that there are risks involved with surgery. But what if you were told that surgery could cause hearing loss?
What could you do to treat your lost hearing ability after surgery?
Hearing Solutions Audiology Manager, Andreas Seelisch, answers that question for a concerned niece.
Ask an Audiologist
My aunt was just diagnosed with a growth in her ear. She has been experiencing tinnitus for a while now and is not on any medication that would cause it. From her description of what her doctor has told her (that removal may damage her facial nerve), it seems that it’s a growth in one of the ossicles of the middle ear. She has been advised to possibly have it removed within the next year if it seems to grow, but no rush. The doctors have said that she will lose her hearing abilities in that ear if the growth is removed. My question is after the surgery, is there any device(s) that we can consider for her to regain some or all of her hearing? Your help is very much appreciated!
I can’t say definitively, with the surgery not having happened yet, not seeing the actual test results or perhaps missing details. That said, based on what you’ve told me her chances sound very good. If the problem is related to one of the middle ear bones and the surgery is to remove it, it will certainly damage the hearing in that ear substantially. That said, the damage is related to the more “mechanical” parts of our ear. These are fortunately some of the easier types of hearing loss to treat because the receptors (i.e. the nerves) are still in good health. We just have to add more power so that the sounds get to them. It’s a little more complex than that, but at the end of the day, her chances of being a successful hearing aid wearer after the surgery are very good assuming the damage from the surgery/growth is isolated to the middle ear and not the auditory nerve or cochlea.
I hope that helps!
Andreas Seelisch, MSc, BHSc (Hons), Reg. CASLPO
Andreas Seelisch is a registered Audiologist with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. Andreas is currently working as the Audiology Manager at Hearing Solutions.