Your Body’s Ability to Recover
The human body generally can heal scratches, cuts, and broken bones, although some wounds take longer than others. But when it comes to fixing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. Animals are able to heal damage to the cilia in their ears and get their hearing back, but humans don’t have that ability (although scientists are working on it). What that means is, if you ruin these hairs or the hearing nerve, you could have permanent loss of hearing.
At What Point Does Loss of Hearing Become Irreversible?
When you learn you have hearing loss, the first thing that most people ask is will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on a number of things. There are two fundamental kinds of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: You can show all the signs of hearing loss when there is something obstructing your ear canal. Debris, earwax, and tumors are some of the things that can cause a blockage. What’s promising is that after the blockage is cleared your hearing usually returns to normal.
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But around 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more common cause. This sort of hearing loss, which is often permanent, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently harmed by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. In certain cases, particularly in cases of extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant may help restore hearing.
A hearing exam will help you determine whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But it may be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the correct treatment can help you:
- Successfully deal with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Ensure your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
- Stop mental decline.
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
This approach can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids help the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and perform the best they can. When your hearing is hampered, the brain strains to hear, which can fatigue you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been connected with a greater risk of cognitive decline. By allowing your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of mental performance. As a matter of fact, using hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Contemporary hearing aids will also help you focus on what you want to hear, and tune out background sounds.
Prevention is The Best Defense
If you get one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t count on recovering from hearing loss, so instead you should concentrate on protecting the hearing you have. Certainly, if you have something stuck in your ear canal, more than likely you can have it cleared. But that doesn’t mitigate the risk from loud sounds, noises you may not even consider to be loud enough to really be all that dangerous. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to take the time to safeguard your ears. The better you protect your hearing now, the more treatment possibilities you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Recovery likely won’t be a possibility but treatment can help you continue living a great, full life. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to decide what your best choice is.