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How effective is surgery in treating hearing loss?

Q: My husband has a hearing problem and is not too happy with the hearing aids that have been prescribed. The doctor has suggested a minor operation of inserting a small tube to keep the passage open. He is reluctant to undergo this operation. Is this a safe procedure? How do you rate the success rate of such procedures? Are there any adverse effects?

A:If there is a conductive hearing loss due to fluid behind the eardrum, then the operation: myringotomy and gromet is very successful. The tube stays for 6 months to 2 years. It is very safe with no big complications. It is done under local anaesthesia as a day case. However, if it is sensory neural hearing loss, then this will not help. An audiometry and tympanometry can confirm what the problem is and what the treatment should be.

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