Your Body’s Ability to Heal
The human body usually can heal scratches, cuts, and broken bones, although some injuries take longer than others. But you’re out of luck when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ears. So far, at least. Although scientists are working on it, humans don’t heal the cilia in their ears like animals can. That means, if you injure these hairs or the hearing nerve, you could have permanent loss of hearing.
When Is Hearing Loss Irreversible?
The first question you think of when you find out you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? And the answer is, it depends. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent kind of hearing loss that makes up 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 tiny hairs in your ear that move when hit by moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, as time passes, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Injury to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. In certain cases, particularly in instances of extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant could help return hearing.
- Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: You can exhibit all the symptoms of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. This obstruction can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. What’s promising is that once the blockage is cleared your hearing often goes back to normal.
A hearing exam can help you figure out whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your loss of hearing. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Stop cognitive decline.
- Ensure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
People who have loss of hearing can use hearing aids to detect sounds and perform as efficiently as they can. When your hearing is hampered, the brain struggles to hear, which can fatigue you. As scientist acquire more insights, they have identified an increased chance of cognitive decline with a continued lack of cognitive input. By permitting your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore mental function. as a matter of fact, it has been shown that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern hearing aids will also help you pay attention to what you want to hear, and drown out background sounds.
Prevention is The Best Defense
If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, if you get something stuck in your ear canal, more than likely you can have it removed. But many loud noises are dangerous even though you may not think they are very loud. That’s why it’s not a bad strategy to take the time to safeguard your ears. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment options if you take measures today to safeguard your hearing. Recovery likely won’t be an option but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. To find out what your best option is, make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.