Hearing Loss

My doctor wants me to get two hearing aids — Is this really necessary?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I am losing my hearing, and my doctor wants me to get two hearing aids. Is this really necessary?

DEAR READER: If you're like most people with hearing loss, it's probably taken some time to accept that you need a hearing aid at all, let alone two. If you have hearing loss in only one ear and normal, or nearly normal, hearing in the other, then one hearing aid is all you need.

Can stapedectomy surgery reverse my hearing loss?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I've been gradually losing my hearing. My doctor says he can restore my hearing with a procedure called stapedectomy. Can you tell me about it?

DEAR READER: To answer your question, I need to explain how you hear. It is an amazing process. Sound travels in waves through the air into your ear canal. Inside the ear canal, the sound waves are amplified. The waves strike your eardrum. The eardrum is a thin membrane, similar to the wall of a balloon.