There are different types and varying degrees of hearing loss. It can be partial or total, sudden or gradual, temporary or permanent, and it can affect one ear or both. While some people lose their hearing for a very short period of time as a result of an accident, medical illness or treatment, for others it is a progressive process that takes many years. Some illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, or Meniere's disease, can contribute to the progressive loss of hearing.
Hearing loss is classified according to which part of the auditory, or hearing system, is affected. The outer ear consists of the visible ear and ear canal. The middle ear is an air-filled cavity containing three small bones. The middle ear is separated from the ear canal by the eardrum.
Our Approach to Hearing Loss
At UCSF, our audiologists work closely with a variety of specialists to provide state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment for patients with any degree of hearing loss. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the hearing loss, as well the patient's lifestyle and listening needs. We may recommend medication or surgery to address any underlying issues. In other cases, patients may benefit from hearing aids, assistive listening devices or cochlear implants. We offer the latest advanced technologies and provide patients with auditory training to maximize their hearing abilities.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.