Treatment options for hearing loss depend on the cause and whether the impairment is temporary or permanent. Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud sounds, ear infections, mild respiratory illnesses, medications, and genetic conditions. Figuring out the cause of hearing loss starts with your primary care provider and may also involve specialists like audiologists or ear, nose and throat doctors. If hearing loss is caused by a treatable condition, treating the cause is the first step. If it is not treatable, there are options for improving hearing, such as hearing aids, which work by increasing the volume of sound, or devices called cochlear implants, which are surgically implanted devices that can help with certain kinds of hearing loss. Modern hearing aids work really well and are not very noticeable. For everybody, it’s really important to protect your hearing, because everybody’s hearing slowly worsens with age. Turning your headphones down and using earplugs when you’re at a loud concert or working with machinery are important ways to maximize your hearing ability for your lifetime!