The human body is an awesome, breathtaking, perplexing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are normally no problem for the human body to mend (with a little time, your body can heal the huge bones in your legs and arms).
But when it comes to repairing the fragile little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. For now at least.
It’s really unfortunate that your body can accomplish such amazing feats of healing but can’t ever re-grow these tiny hairs. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Loss Permanent?
So let’s take a closer look. You’re at your doctor’s office attempting to digest the news he’s giving you: you’re losing your hearing. So the first question you ask is whether the hearing will ever return. And the answer is… maybe.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. There are two basic forms of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss due to damage: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss. This form of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. This is how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud noises can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is required.
- Hearing impairment caused by an obstruction: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can exhibit all the indications of hearing loss. A wide range of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this obstruction. The good news is that once the blockage is cleared, your hearing usually returns to normal.
So the bottom line is this: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without getting a hearing test.
Treating Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on that). But your hearing loss still might be treatable. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you might already have.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Reduce cognitive decline.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation away.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll normally depend on how significant your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you love. With the help of hearing aids, you can begin to hear conversations, your tv, your phone, and sounds of nature once more. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of your brain because you won’t be straining to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Loud sounds and other things that would harm your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be protected against them. Hearing well is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Having routine hearing exams is the best way to be sure that you are protecting your hearing.