Your Body’s Capacity to Recover
The human body generally can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, although some wounds take longer than others. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. 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). That means you may have irreversible loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Loss of Hearing Irreversible?
When you learn you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on several factors. Fundamentally, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But around 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more common cause. This sort of hearing loss, which is often permanent, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s what occurs: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But loud noises can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant could help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, especially extreme cases.
- Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: You can show all the signs of hearing loss when there is something obstructing your ear canal. Debris, earwax, and tumors are some of the things that can cause a blockage. Your hearing normally returns to normal after the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by having a hearing examination.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss currently has no cure. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
- Ensure your all-around quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
Based on how serious your hearing loss is, this treatment can take on many kinds. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: 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. When your hearing is hindered, the brain strains to hear, which can exhaust you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been linked to an increased risk of mental decay. Your mental function can begin to be restored by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. In fact, wearing hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be tuned out by modern-day hearing aids allowing you to concentrate on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Hopefully, if you get one thing from this information, it this: you should safeguard the hearing you have because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, if you have something blocking your ear canal, more than likely you can have it cleared. But that doesn’t mitigate the danger from loud noises, noises you might not even think are loud enough to be all that dangerous. That’s why making the effort to safeguard your ears is a good plan. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment options if you take measures now to protect your hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t a possibility. To find out what your best choice is, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.