Is My Hearing Loss Permanent?
The Recovery Capability of Your Body
The human body generally can heal scratches, cuts, and broken bones, although some injuries take longer than others. 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 like animals can. That means you might have permanent loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
When you learn you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on a number of factors. Fundamentally, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by an obstruction: You can exhibit all the signs 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 after the blockage is cleared your hearing often goes back to normal.
- Damage based hearing loss: But there’s another, more widespread type of hearing loss that makes up nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss, which is often irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that move when hit with moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you can hear. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently harmed by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. In certain cases, specifically in instances of severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant might help return hearing.
A hearing examination will help you determine whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it may be possible to get treatment for your loss of hearing. As a matter of fact, getting the right treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
- Stop cognitive decline.
- Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Ensure your all-around quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your loss of hearing 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 pick up sounds and perform the best they can. When your hearing is hampered, the brain struggles to hear, which can exhaust you. As scientist acquire more insights, they have identified an increased risk of cognitive decline with a continued lack of cognitive input. By letting your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of mental 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 tuned out by modern-day hearing aids letting you concentrate on what you want to hear.
The Best Protection Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this knowledge, it this: you should protect the hearing you have because you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, if you get something blocking your ear canal, more than likely you can have it extracted. But that doesn’t decrease the risk from loud noises, noises you might not even think are loud enough to be all that harmful. That’s why it’s not a bad strategy to take the time to safeguard your ears. The better you safeguard your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have if and when you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Recovery won’t likely be a possibility but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. Contact a hearing care professional to decide what your best option is.