Your Body’s Ability to Recover
While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body generally has no problem mending cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But you’re out of luck when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ears. So far, at least. Though scientists are working on it, humans can’t repair the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. That means you could have permanent loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
When you find out you have loss of hearing, 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 basic kinds of hearing loss:
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: You can experience all the signs of hearing loss when there is something obstructing your ear canal. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. Your hearing normally returns to normal once the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Damage based hearing loss: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss that accounts for about 90 percent of hearing loss. This sort of hearing loss, which is often irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This is how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But loud noises can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant could help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, particularly severe cases.
Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by getting a hearing exam.
Hearing Loss Treatment
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. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation away.
- Stop mental decline.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
- Guarantee your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
Depending on how severe your hearing loss is, this treatment can have many forms. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and function to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. Over time the lack of sensory input has been connected with a greater danger of mental decay. By letting your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore mental function. In fact, wearing hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern hearing aids can also help you pay attention to what you want to hear, and drown out background noises.
Prevention is The Best Protection
If you get one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss, so instead you should focus on protecting the hearing you have. Certainly, you can have any blockages in your ear cleared. But that doesn’t decrease the risk from loud noises, noises you may not even think are loud enough to be all that harmful. That’s why it’s a good strategy to take the time to protect your ears. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment possibilities if you take measures today to safeguard your hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t a possibility. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to decide what your best choice is.