Your Body’s Capacity to Recover
The human body typically can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, even though some injuries take longer than others. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Animals are capable of healing damage to the cilia in their ears and get their hearing back, but humans don’t have that ability (even though scientists are working on it). What that means is, if you ruin these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have irreversible hearing loss.
When Is Loss of Hearing Irreversible?
The first thing you think of when you learn you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on many factors. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Blockage based hearing loss: You can exhibit all the symptoms of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. Debris, earwax, and tumors are some of the things that can cause an obstruction. What’s promising is that once the blockage is cleared your hearing often returns to normal.
- Damage based loss of hearing: But there’s another, more widespread type of hearing loss that accounts for nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Known clinically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often permanent. Here’s what occurs: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then turned, 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 can help improve hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically severe cases.
A hearing exam will help you figure out whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it may be possible to get treatment for your loss of hearing. The following are some ways that getting the appropriate treatment can help you:
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Successfully deal with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you have left.
This approach can have many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatment options is pretty simple: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and perform to the best of their ability. When your hearing is hampered, the brain struggles to hear, which can fatigue you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been connected with an increased chance of cognitive decay. By letting your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of mental performance. As a matter of fact, using hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern day hearing aids can also help you concentrate on what you want to hear, and drown out background noises.
The Best Defense Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this information, it this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear cleared. But that doesn’t mitigate the risk from loud noises, noises you might not even consider to be loud enough to be all that dangerous. That’s why it’s not a bad strategy to take the time to protect your ears. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment options if you take steps today to safeguard your hearing. Recovery won’t likely be an option but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. Contact a hearing care expert to find out what your best option is.