Your Body’s Capacity to Heal
The human body commonly can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, although some wounds take longer than others. But you’re out of luck when it comes to fixing the tiny little hairs in your ears. So far, at least. Animals are capable of healing damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t have that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means, if you injure these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have permanent loss of hearing.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
When you find out you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? And the answer is, it depends. Basically, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by a blockage: You can show all the signs 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. Your hearing generally returns to normal after the obstruction 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. This sort of hearing loss, which is often permanent, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s what takes place: there are little hairs in your ear that move when hit by moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, as time passes, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Injury to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. In some cases, especially in instances of severe loss of hearing, a cochlear implant might help return hearing.
A hearing test can help you figure out whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss currently has no cure. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your loss of hearing. The following are some ways that getting the appropriate treatment can help you:
- Stop cognitive decline.
- Successfully deal with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
- Make sure your all-around quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation away.
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
This treatment can have many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment for Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and function the best they can. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist gain more knowledge, they have identified an increased risk of cognitive decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. Your cognitive function can begin to be restored by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, wearing hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern day hearing aids can also help you pay attention to what you want to hear, and tune out background sounds.
The Best Defense Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this information, it this: you should protect the hearing you’ve got because you can’t count on recovering from hearing loss. Sure, if you get something blocking your ear canal, more than likely you can have it removed. But that doesn’t decrease the risk from loud sounds, noises you may not even think are loud enough to really be all that harmful. That’s why taking the time to safeguard your ears is a smart idea. If you are inevitably diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment options if you take steps now to protect your hearing. Recovery likely won’t be an option but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. To determine what your best option is, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.