The Healing Ability of Your Body
While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body normally has no problem healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But when it comes to fixing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Though scientists are working on it, humans don’t repair the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. What that means is, if you ruin these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have permanent loss of hearing.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
The first question you think of when you learn you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on many things. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: 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 a blockage. Your hearing usually returns to normal once the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But nearly 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often irreversible. Here’s what occurs: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears move. Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But loud noises can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. In some cases, particularly in cases of severe loss of hearing, a cochlear implant could help restore hearing.
Whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing can only be figured out by getting a hearing exam.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
- Guarantee your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Prevent mental decline.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
This approach can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your hearing loss is. One of the most basic 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 hear sounds and function to the best of their ability. When your hearing is hindered, the brain struggles to hear, which can exhaust you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been associated with a greater danger of cognitive decay. Your mental function can begin to be recovered by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. In fact, using hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background sound can also be drowned out by modern-day hearing aids allowing you to focus on what you want to hear.
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 have because you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear cleared. But that doesn’t decrease the threat from loud sounds, noises you might not even think are loud enough to really be all that dangerous. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to protect your ears. If you are inevitably diagnosed with loss of hearing, you will have more treatment possibilities if you take measures now to safeguard your hearing. Recovery likely won’t 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.