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A 53-year-old female asked:

Will hearing aid use prevent further damage and hearing loss for someone with sensory neuronal hearing loss?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: A hearing aid acts just like a speaker near the ear, and does not change the nature of the problem inside the ear and head. In those cases where hearing loss is really bad, the hearing aid gets turned up loud, so theoretically could worsen the hearing organ... But life is full of trade-offs, and being able to hear is so valuable.
Dr. Bernstein Joel
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 60 years experience
No: A hearing aid is an amplifying instrument. It has no effect on the underlying pathology o the inner ear. The aid can not prevent further degeneration of a sensori-neural hearing loss.
Dr. James Budd
Internal Medicine 42 years experience
Perhaps.: I would maintain that the answer is "maybe". There is at least the suggestion that if you restore stimulus to the auditory cortex via the current hearing aid technology, that part of the brain that has been deprived of input can actually improve it's function. The brain has "plasticity" and might well slow or even arrest additional hearing loss if incoming signals are restored.

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Last updated May 11, 2015
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