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Surgery or Hearing Aid

I was diagnosised with otosclerosis about 12 years ago.  It was only in my right ear and it wasn't that bad. The tinnitus bothered me more than the hearing loss.  The hearing loss has gotten a lot worse over the years and is affecting my work and daily living.  My ENT did not recommend surgery because he does not think the risks are worth it.  I read up about the surgery and I do not want to risk the ringing in my ear getting worse. It is only in my right ear and my left ear has minimal hearing loss.

So, I am leaning towards getting a hearing aid now.  There are so many features to the hearing aid. I am not sure what I am looking for and what will work best.  Also, I wanted to know if anyone has had the surgery?

I'm not sure that I am making the right decision.
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1978476 tn?1327931589
Dear DEBMOM, Thank you for posting this question. It is a great question.

The surgery for otosclerosis is typically very successful and last for many years. It all depends on your hearing loss.  If your hearing loss would be restored to normal with the surgery then most ENT's would say to have it BUT if your hearing loss would not restore to normal and would still require the use of a hearing aid then the surgery is not really recommended. This is something that is determined by your audiogram.  
Having said that, any ear surgey has a lot of risks including facial paralysis, dizziness and loss of hearing.

As an Audiologist, we see  many patients who have had stapes surgery and that have been successful and we also see those that were attempted but then the surgery failed so it is a risk that you take.

The good news is that if you decide not to have surgery and wear a hearing aid in that ear, you will have great success.  Speaking from my experience, patients with otosclerosis do very well with hearing aids because of the conductive component that is part of the hearing loss. Your Audiologist can review your audiogram with you and make a recommendation for a hearing aid that will fit your hearing loss and your lifestyle needs.

If you need to locate an Audiologist you can visit our website www.hearusa.com and search for a provider.

Now, about the tinnitus-most of the time, when a patient has tinnitus and wears a hearing aid/aids they will report that their tinnitus is less when the aid/s are on.  Also, there are new hearing aids that have actual Tinnitus Maskers built into them.  These are currently only made by Siemens and are called Siemens Pure Carat Reciever-in-the-Canal hearing aids. They come in 4 different levels of technology which is based on your lifestyle needs.

You can also find information about these hearing aids on our website www.hearusa.com

I hope I have answered your question and provided you with valuable information.

Thank you for using this forum,

Rachele M. Orsini, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
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