The Healing Ability of Your Body
While some wounds 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. So far, at least. Animals are able to heal damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t have that ability (though scientists are working on it). What that means is, if you damage these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have permanent hearing loss.
At What Point Does Hearing Loss Become Irreversible?
When you find out you have hearing loss, the first thing that most people ask is will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on several factors. Fundamentally, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by an obstruction: You can experience all the signs of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. This obstruction can be caused by a wide range of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. Your hearing usually returns to normal once the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Damage based loss of hearing: But there’s another, more widespread kind of hearing loss that makes up about 90 percent of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss, which is often irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This is how it works: there are little 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 loud noises can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. In certain cases, especially in cases of severe loss of hearing, a cochlear implant could help return hearing.
A hearing examination will help you figure out whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the right treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
- Ensure your general quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation away.
Based on how extreme your loss of hearing is, this procedure can have many kinds. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids help the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and perform to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been connected with an increased risk of mental decline. By letting your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of cognitive function. In fact, it has been shown that using hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be drowned out by contemporary hearing aids allowing you to concentrate on what you want to hear.
The Best Protection Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you get one thing from this knowledge, it this: you can’t count on recovering from hearing loss, so instead you should concentrate on protecting the hearing you’ve got. Sure, if you have something blocking your ear canal, more than likely you can have it removed. But lots of 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 protect your ears. The better you safeguard your hearing today, the more treatment options you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t an option. To find out what your best option is, make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.