Can Hearing Aids Help People with Nerve Damage?

Jul 28, 2010 by

It is common for a patient to come into my office and complain about hearing difficulty saying that their doctor told them that they couldn’t be helped with a hearing aid because they have severe nerve damage.

What is nerve damage and does your doctor really know what he or she is talking about?

The term “nerve damage” refers to sensorineural hearing loss or permanent hearing loss which may have resulted from noise exposure, head trauma, surgery or aging. In every individual, there are approximately 40,000 – 50,000 hearing hair cells within our cochlea a.k.a. our hearing mechanism. In most cases, patients with nerve damage still have 10,000 to 20,000 hearing hair cells working but the other 20,000 to 30,000 are not functional. The purpose of hearing amplification devices a.k.a. hearing aids is to stimulate those active hearing hair cells in order for you to hear again. In fact, most patients who are benefiting from hearing aids have permanent nerve damage or sensorineural hearing loss. Only patients who are deaf cannot benefit from hearing aids. However, in those extreme cases, there may be other communication options such as a cochlear implant.

Contact one of our south Florida hearing doctors at Hear Florida and find out if hearing aids are the right solution for you.