Your Body’s Ability to Recover
The human body typically can heal scratches, cuts, and broken bones, even though some wounds take longer than others. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. Though scientists are working on it, humans don’t repair the cilia in their ears like animals can. That means, if you damage these hairs or the hearing nerve, you could have permanent hearing loss.
At What Point Does Loss of Hearing Become Permanent?
The first thing you think of when you learn you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on many factors. There are two basic types of loss of hearing:
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can experience all the signs of hearing loss. Debris, earwax, and tumors are just a few of the things that can cause an obstruction. Your hearing generally returns to normal once the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But around 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is usually permanent. This is how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Damage to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. In certain cases, especially in instances of extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant might help return hearing.
A hearing test can help you figure out whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Successfully deal with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
- Prevent mental decline.
- Ensure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Protect and preserve 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 simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?
People who have loss of hearing can use hearing aids to detect sounds and work as efficiently as possible. Fatigue is caused when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist acquire more knowledge, they have recognized a greater risk of mental decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. Your mental function can start to be recovered by using hearing aids because they let your ears hear again. In fact, it has been shown that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern day hearing aids can also help you concentrate on what you want to hear, and drown out background noises.
The Best Protection Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this information, it this: you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should concentrate on safeguarding the hearing you’ve got. Certainly, if you get something blocking your ear canal, more than likely you can have it cleared. But that doesn’t mitigate the threat from loud sounds, noises you may not even think are loud enough to really be all that harmful. That’s why it’s a good strategy to take the time to safeguard your ears. The better you safeguard your hearing today, the more treatment possibilities you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with hearing loss. 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.