The Healing Ability of Your Body
While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body generally has no problem healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But when it comes to repairing 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). What that means is, if you injure these hairs or the hearing nerve, you could have permanent loss of hearing.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
The first question you think of when you learn you have hearing loss is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on several factors. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more common kind of hearing loss that accounts for about 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this kind of hearing loss is often irreversible. Here’s how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit by moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But loud sounds can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Damage to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. In certain cases, specifically in cases of extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant might help return hearing.
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can exhibit all the signs of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. Your hearing normally returns to normal after the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.
A hearing examination will help you figure out whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it may be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the right treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
- Ensure your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
- Keep isolation away by staying socially engaged.
This approach can have many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your loss of hearing is. One of the most basic treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids help the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and function to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hindered. As scientist acquire more knowledge, they have recognized a greater danger of mental decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. Your mental function can begin to be recovered by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, using hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background sound can also be tuned out by modern hearing aids enabling you to concentrate on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Defense
Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this information, it this: you should protect the hearing you have because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, you can have any blockages in your ear removed. But lots of loud noises are harmful even though you may not think they are that loud. That’s why making the effort to safeguard your ears is a good idea. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment possibilities if you take measures now to protect your hearing. Recovery won’t likely be an option but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. To find out what your best choice is, make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.