Your Body’s Ability to Heal
While some wounds take longer to heal than others, the human body generally has no problem healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But you’re out of luck when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ears. At least, so far. Animals are capable of healing 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 permanent loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
The first question you think of when you find out you have hearing loss is, will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on a number of factors. There are two fundamental kinds of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss that accounts for nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often permanent. Here’s what takes place: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Injury to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. A cochlear implant can help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically extreme cases.
- Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: You can exhibit all the signs of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. The good news is that once the obstruction is cleared your hearing usually returns to normal.
A hearing exam will help you determine whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the appropriate treatment can help you:
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Make sure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
Depending on how extreme your loss of hearing is, this treatment can have many forms. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
People who have loss of hearing can use hearing aids to perceive sounds and work as efficiently as they can. Fatigue is the result when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hampered. Over time the lack of sensory input has been connected with an increased risk of cognitive decline. Your mental function can begin to be restored by using hearing aids because they let your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, wearing hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be tuned out by modern-day hearing aids enabling you to focus on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Defense
If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear removed. But many loud noises are dangerous even though you may not think they are that loud. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to safeguard your ears. The better you protect your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have if and when 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. Contact a hearing care expert to find out what your best choice is.