Q: Is it true that there is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss?
A: Yes According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 30% of adults 65-74 years old and 47% of adults 75 years old and older have
hearing loss. The good news is that advancements are being made in the field, and some newer technology is available at Porter Health Care System.
Otolaryngologist (ENT Physician) Matthew Provenzano, M.D., has found cochlear implant technology to be successful in restoring the hearing in patients with certain types of deafness. "If the hearing loss is due to a neurologic inner ear problem, and the person has no functional hearing, a cochlear implant will improve hearing significantly," Dr. Provenzano said. "It also works best in those who have not been completely deaf for a long period since this population is especially motivated to restore their hearing."
According to Dr. Provenzano, cochlear implants are recognized as standard treatment for severe to profound deafness, and mostinsurance companies cover them. However, the person must demonstrate that they no longer get adequate results from hearing aids.
Another treatment Dr. Provenzano and his colleagues at Associated ENT Specialists use is implantable hearing aids. "This is a good alternative if the patient doesn't qualify for a cochlear implant," commented Dr. Provenzano. "Implantable devices allow the patient to continue to use them while swimming, bathing, exercising or sleeping.