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The treatments for hearing loss depend on what's causing it.

Sometimes it gets better on its own or can be treated with medicine or a simple procedure. For example, earwax can be softened with eardrops or sucked out.

Other types of hearing loss - such as gradual hearing loss that can happen as you get older - may be permanent.

This page covers the main treatments for permanent hearing loss:

Hearing aids

Hearing implants

Sign language and lip reading

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn in your ear that make sounds louder and clearer, although they won't give you back your full hearing.

There are many different types of hearing aid, including:

  • behind the ear hearing aids (the most common type) - hearing aids that go around the top and back of the ear
  • in the ear hearing aids - small hearing aids that fit in the opening of the ear
  • in the canal hearing aids -  very small hearing aids that fit a bit further into the opening of the ear, so they're just visible

Speak to your GP if you think you need a hearing aid. They can refer you to a specialist who can advise you whether a hearing aid is suitable for you and which types may be best.

Modern hearing aids are available on the NHS, but these are mainly the behind the ear type. You can choose to pay privately for types not provided on the NHS.

Read more about hearing aids, including what the main types look like and how to get them on the NHS or privately.

Hearing implants

For some people, hearing aids don't help and instead they need to have a special device fitted inside or to their skull during an operation. These are known as hearing implants.

Common types of implant include bone anchored hearing aids, cochlear implants, auditory brainstem implants and middle ear implants.

Bone anchored hearing aids

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