What are some of the latest treatments for sound disorders? Medicinal Technology is continuously developing more effective means of treatment and disease management. The latest treatment options offer a range of additional benefits, from healing diseases to coping with major symptoms of severe/chronic health conditions. However, our focus in this article will be on sound disorders, also referred to as hearing disorders in this article.
Before you get down to the latest treatment options for sound disorders such as tinnitus, let’s learn the types of sound disorders (hearing disorders).
Common Sound Disorders (Hearing Disorders)
· Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
It is a rare type of hearing disorder that affects the functions of the auditory nerves in our ears. The disorder refers to the inability of auditory nerves to send electrical impulses to the brain after hearing sound through the ear. It can result in hearing loss which varies in effect from person to person. In this disorder, the affected person perceives distorted external sounds and noises that are difficult to comprehend in the form of speech. Through continual monitoring of the condition’s status, experts provide treatment for this type of disorder.
· Conductive Hearing Loss
This disorder is often temporary and leads to partial or full hearing impairment. In simple words, because of this disorder, when you receive sound through your middle or outer ear, it appears muffled. Normally, this can occur due to wax, fluid, or foreign substance buildup in the eardrum or canal. It can also be a birth deformity that might require surgical treatment. Irregularity of the small bones more likely leads to conductive hearing issues.
Tinnitus itself is a symptom, but many people perceive it as a disease. When you have tinnitus, you will experience different internal sounds in the ear that create a ringing sound. The ringing sound is the most common, but there are also other sounds such as humming, hissing, clicking, buzzing, and roaring. The intensity of these sounds can vary as they start with a low pitch before reaching high frequencies. These sounds interfere with your ability to hear properly and concentrate on other sounds in the environment, such as the sound of another person speaking. Sometimes, you may also experience whooshing sounds that go along with your heartbeat. Pulsatile tinnitus is when the person standing next to you can hear the sounds as well, and it signals that you should undergo a proper medical examination.
· Mixed Hearing Loss
As the name suggests, this disorder or hearing loss occurs when the person experiences a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing issues. Therefore, treatments also involve the use of multiple techniques and medical intervention. Moreover, hearing aids can also work for this hearing loss issue.
· Central Auditory Processing Disorder
This central auditory processing disorder affects the hearing sensitivity in an individual. While a person may hear external sounds in this disorder, they are unable to cope with the condition. In short, it means that they do not fully understand and perceive the information that they are receiving. It can involve trouble in detecting the essential parts of what was said. Further, it can get difficult to listen fully when there is excessive background noise.
· Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss issues occur when the cochlea in the ear suffers from damage. It has hair cells that move when we receive sounds. This movement sends impulses along with the nerves to the brain to comprehend what you heard. In this disorder, a person requires the sounds to be loud for them to understand. Hence, the medical treatments for this disorder revolve around hearing aids, therapies, and more.
Latest Treatment Options for Sound Disorders (Hearing Disorders)
For the hearing disorders discussed above, here are some of the latest treatment options. Keep in mind that these treatment methods are not only for the hearing disorders above, but they can potentially help to treat an array of different hearing issues.
· Implants in the Middle Ear
Your surgeon will place a tiny device inside your ear (middle ear) to make sure that the middle ear bones move with more strength to produce strong vibrations for the inner ear. This implant treatment is effective for sensorineural hearing loss disorder. They are a recent advancement in tinnitus and other hearing loss issue treatments. They stick right in the middle of your ear, which keeps them hidden for as long as your specialist would suggest.
· Hearing Aids: Bone-Anchored
Hearing aids are a common name for treatments that deal with placing devices in, on, or over the ear to aid in listening and comfortably comprehending noise. Bone-anchored hearing aids fit behind the ear. This is from where these implants pass on sound through your skull to your inner ear. As they offer nearly the same hearing assistance and sound transmission to the inner ear as surgical implants, the non-surgical implantation feature is a success as the latest treatment option.
· Hearing Aids: Analog
Analog hearing aids convert external sounds into electrical signals. They also make these sounds louder through electrical signals before transmitting them to the inner ear and brain. Think of this as a microphone in an amplifier.
· Hearing Aids: Digital
Digital hearing aids give you more flexibility since you can adjust the hearing loss and electrical signal transmission for the specific frequencies you have issues with.
· Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants in the inner ear bypass the damaged inner parts of the area to stimulate your hearing nerves in the ear directly. This helps to reduce the hearing loss that occurs due to hearing disorders.
· Surgical Procedures
Abnormalities of the ear (inner and middle ear) are not easily treatable with only hearing aids or implants. Therefore, surgical procedures correct congenital hearing disorders by removing infections, excess fluids, and other types of damages to the inner ear.
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is a form of psychotherapy used to treat people with anxiety disorders. Do you or someone in your family have an anxiety disorder? CBT helps change the way you might think, behave, and finally, react in a fearful or anxiety-causing situation (or an object). CBT employs social skill practices that assist in treating disorders similar to social anxiety. Read more about CBT therapy here.
· Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy (TCRT)
The major goal of the tinnitus retaining therapy is to manage your response towards the stimulus. There is no evidence, which shows that the therapy has completely cured the situation. Many healthcare providers will also suggest tinnitus masking if you suffer from such chronic disorder. Tinnitus masking is, using music or any sound to mask the tinnitus. The healthcare provider might suggest you wear a hearing aid. Read more about TCRT therapy for sound disorders here.
Latest Treatments for Sound Disorders: Conclusion
Do you suffer from any hearing disorders? Is tinnitus a growing concern for your physical and mental health? Do you feel any of the symptoms of hearing disorders (sound disorders)?
Contact Dr. Stephen Geller Katz at the Tinnitus Cognitive Center to receive effective hearing disorder management therapies and solutions.
Give us a call at 646-213-2321 to schedule a convenient online consultation.