Your Body’s Ability to Heal
While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no problem healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Animals are capable of healing damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t possess that ability (even though scientists are working on it). That means you might have permanent hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
At What Point Does Hearing Loss Become Permanent?
The first thing you think of when you find out you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on many things. Fundamentally, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Loss of hearing caused by a blockage: 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. The good news is that once the obstruction is cleared your hearing often goes back to normal.
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more widespread kind of hearing loss that makes up about 90 percent of hearing loss. Known technically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often permanent. Here’s how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you can hear. But loud sounds can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Injury to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. A cochlear implant may help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically extreme cases.
A hearing examination 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 it may be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. actually, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
- Keep isolation away by staying socially engaged.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Guarantee your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your loss of hearing is. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment for Hearing Loss?
People with loss of hearing can use hearing aids to perceive sounds and perform as effectively as possible. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist gain more insights, they have identified an increased danger of mental decline with a continued lack of cognitive input. Your cognitive function can start to be restored by using hearing aids because they let 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 will also allow you to focus on what you want to hear, and tune out background sounds.
The Best Defense Is Prevention
If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, if you get something stuck in your ear canal, you can probably have it extracted. But lots of loud noises are harmful even though you might not think they are very loud. That’s why making the effort to safeguard your ears is a good idea. The better you safeguard your hearing today, the more treatment possibilities you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Recovery likely won’t be an option but treatment can help you continue living a great, full life. Contact a hearing care professional to find out what your best choice is.