The human body has some fantastic and surprising abilities. Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are normally no problem for the human body to mend (with a bit of time, your body can repair the giant bones in your arms and legs).
But when it comes to restoring the fragile little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now anyway.
It doesn’t seem exactly fair when you can recover from considerable bone injuries but you can’t heal tiny hairs in your ear. What’s happening there?
When is Hearing Loss Permanent?
So let’s have a closer look. You’re waiting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you’re losing your hearing. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And he tells you that it may or may not.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. Hearing loss comes in two primary forms:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: You can show every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some sort of blockage. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this obstruction. The good news is that once the blockage is removed, your hearing often goes back to normal.
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss, known as sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. This is how it works: In your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when struck by sound waves. Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud sounds can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is required.
So the bottom line is this: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without getting a hearing exam.
Treating Hearing Loss
So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on that). But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Remain active socially, keeping isolation away.
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Counter cognitive decline.
- Protect and maintain your remaining hearing.
Of the many types of treatment available, which one is the right choice for you depends on the extent of your hearing loss. One of the most common treatments is rather simple: hearing aids.
Why is Hearing Loss Successfully Managed With Hearing AIds?
You can return to the things and people you love with the help of hearing aids. They can help you hear the conversation, the phone, your tv, or even just the birds in the park. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of 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 need to safeguard your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your overall health and well being depend on good hearing. Routine hearing care, like annual hearing exams, is just another form of self-care.