Your Body’s Capacity to Heal
The human body generally can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, even though some injuries take longer than others. But when it comes to fixing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Animals are able to heal damage to the cilia in their ears and get their hearing back, but humans don’t possess that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means you could have irreversible hearing loss if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Loss of Hearing Permanent?
When you learn you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people ask is will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on a number of things. There are two fundamental types of hearing loss:
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: You can experience all the signs of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. Debris, earwax, and tumors are just a few of the things that can cause a blockage. Your hearing usually returns to normal after the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Damage based loss of hearing: But nearly 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more common cause. Known technically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is usually permanent. Here’s what occurs: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you can hear. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant may help improve hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically severe cases.
A hearing exam can help you determine whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the right treatment can help you:
- Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
- Ensure your all-around quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
- Stop mental decline.
Depending on how severe your loss of hearing is, this treatment can take on many forms. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and function the best they can. When your hearing is hampered, the brain struggles to hear, which can exhaust you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been linked to a greater risk of cognitive decay. By letting your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore mental function. In fact, wearing hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be tuned out by contemporary hearing aids letting you focus on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Hopefully, if you get one thing from this information, it this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear removed. But that doesn’t decrease the danger from loud noises, noises you might not even think are loud enough to be all that dangerous. That’s why making the effort to safeguard your ears is a smart plan. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment options if you take measures today to protect your hearing. Recovery won’t likely be a possibility but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to decide what your best option is.