The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, confusing, confounding construction, isn’t it? Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are generally no problem for the human body to repair (with a little time, your body can repair the huge bones in your arms and legs).
But you won’t be so fortunate if the delicate hairs in your ears are damaged. At least, so far.
It’s really regrettable that your body can accomplish such amazing feats of healing but can’t restore these little hairs. What’s happening there?
When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?
So, let’s get right to it. You’re waiting in your doctor’s office and you’re taking in the news: you’re losing your hearing. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And the answer is… maybe.
It’s a bit anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But it’s also the truth. There are two basic types of hearing loss:
- Damage related hearing loss: But there’s another, more common type of hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is permanent. Here’s what happens: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are converted into signals, they are sent to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, reduce your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: You can show every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some sort of blockage. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. The good news is that once the obstruction is removed, your hearing usually returns to normal.
So the bottom line is this: there’s one type of hearing loss you can recover from, and you might need to get examined to see which one you have.
Treating Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (though scientists are working on that). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the right treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Maintain a high quality of life.
- Protect and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Stay active socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Help stave off cognitive decline.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how significant your hearing loss is. One of the most prevalent treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Practical Treatment For Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you enjoy. They can help you hear the conversation, the phone, your television, or even just the birds in the park. You won’t be straining to hear so pressure will be taken off your brain.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you need to protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can harm your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Having regular hearing exams is the best way to be certain that you are safeguarding your hearing.