The human body has some amazing and surprising abilities. Scratches, cuts, and broken bones are normally no problem for the human body to repair (with a bit of time, your body can heal the giant bones in your arms and legs).
But when it comes to restoring the delicate little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now anyway.
It’s really unfortunate that your body can accomplish such amazing feats of healing but can’t ever re-grow these tiny hairs. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Impairment Irreversible?
So, let’s get right down to it. You’re at your doctor’s office attempting to process the news he’s giving you: you’re losing your hearing. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever come back. And the answer is… maybe.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. Hearing loss comes in two general forms:
- Hearing loss caused by an obstruction: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. Fortunately, once the obstruction is cleared, your hearing often returns to normal.
- Hearing loss due to damage: But hearing loss has another more common type. This form of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. This is how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are converted into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But over time, loud sounds can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
So the bottom line is this: there’s one type of hearing loss you can recuperate from, and you might need to get examined to see which one you have.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on that). But your hearing loss still may be manageable. Here are some ways that the proper treatment may help you:
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Successfully cope with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be enduring.
- Ensure your total quality of life is untouched or stays high.
- Help fend off cognitive decline.
- Avoid isolation by remaining socially involved.
Of the many types of treatment available, which one is correct for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. Hearing aids are one of the easiest and most common treatment options.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you love. With the help of hearing aids, you can begin to hear conversations, your television, your phone, and sounds of nature once again. Hearing aids can also remove some of the pressure from your brain because you will no longer be straining to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you should protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is critical to your overall health and well-being. Routine hearing care, such as annual hearing exams, is just another kind of self-care.