The Healing Capability of Your Body
The human body typically 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. Even though scientists are working on it, humans can’t repair the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. What that means is, if you injure these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have irreversible loss of hearing.
At What Point Does Loss of Hearing Become Permanent?
When you find out you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? And the response is, it depends. Fundamentally, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. The good news is that after the blockage is cleared your hearing often returns to normal.
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent kind of hearing loss that makes up nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. This sort of hearing loss, which is often permanent, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This is how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears move. These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But loud noises can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Damage to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. A cochlear implant could help improve hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically extreme cases.
Whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing can only be determined by having a hearing exam.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it might be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Stop cognitive decline.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation away.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
Depending on how serious your hearing loss is, this treatment can have many forms. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?
People with hearing loss can use hearing aids to detect sounds and perform as effectively as possible. Fatigue is caused when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hindered. Over time the lack of sensory input has been linked to an increased danger of mental decline. By allowing your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore cognitive performance. In fact, it has been shown that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background sound can also be drowned out by contemporary hearing aids allowing you to focus on what you want to hear.
The Best Protection Is Prevention
If you get one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should focus on safeguarding the hearing you have. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear removed. But that doesn’t decrease the threat from loud sounds, noises you might not even think are loud enough to really be all that harmful. 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 possibilities you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with hearing loss. Recovery likely won’t be an option but treatment can help you continue living a great, full life. To find out what your best choice is, schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist.