More than 28 million Americans are deaf or have hearing impairment, according to the Merck Manual of Medical Information. Nerve deafness is the loss of hearing that can stem from problems with the nerve to the inner ear to the brain. Nerves can also be harmed by infections, tumors, and injuries. Nerve damage is diagnosed through an ear examination by a doctor. A determination can also be made through other means including hearing tests or an MRI.
Consider being fitted for a hearing aid. A hearing aid is a tiny electronic device that is put in your ear. You will pick up sounds through a microphone in the hearing aid. Using a battery-powered amplifier, you can adjust the volume.
Investigate a cochlear implant if you cannot handle a hearing aid. Your cochlear implant is made up of internal and external devices. Internally you will have a receiver/stimulator placed in the bone behind your ear. Your external component consists of a headset with a microphone worn behind your ear. Your transmitter will be fastened over the implanted receiver using magnets. You will pick up sounds with an external microphone and processor, which transforms the sound signals into electrical impulses.
See a doctor if you suffer from dizziness or vertigo, which can be caused by nerve damage in your inner ear. By repositioning your head with the help of a physical therapist or physician, particles in your ear will shift to a place where they won’t produce dizziness and will be reabsorbed in your body. The Mayo Clinic reports that this treatment has a cure rate of nearly 90 percent. For immediate relief of dizziness, your physician can prescribe medications to help.
Seek help if you have ringing in your ears, which is known as tinnitus. Noise in your head is created when you irritate your auditory nerve. You can use a tinnitus masker, a small electronic instrument that makes your head ringing seem less noticeable, as a way to treat the condition. Relaxing can also help ease the condition (see "Tinnitus" in Resources for more coping tips).
Your hearing will not be restored with a hearing aid. However, your ability to communicate will improve.