The human body has some amazing 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, you’re out of luck. For now at least.
It’s truly unfortunate that your body can pull off such great feats of healing but can’t regenerate these tiny hairs. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Loss Permanent?
So let’s have a closer look. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you have hearing impairment. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And the answer is… maybe.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a little anticlimactic.
But it’s also a fact. There are two general kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent form of hearing loss. Known scientifically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively irreversible. This is how it works: In your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when moved by sound waves. When vibrations are transformed into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But over time, loud sounds can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
- Hearing impairment caused by a blockage: You can exhibit every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some kind of obstruction. This obstruction can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright frightening (tumors). Your hearing will return to normal, thankfully, when the obstruction is removed.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you most likely won’t know which one you have without getting a hearing test.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t discovered a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your hearing loss. Here are some ways that the proper treatment may help you:
- Help fend off mental decline.
- Remain active socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Make sure your general quality of life is unaffected or stays high.
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
This treatment can take numerous forms, and it’ll normally depend on how significant your hearing loss is. Hearing aids are one of the easiest and most prevalent treatment choices.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Practical Treatment For Hearing Loss?
You can get back to the people and things you love with the assistance of hearing aids. They can help you hear the conversation, your phone, your tv, or even just the birds in the park. Hearing aids can also remove some of the pressure from your brain because you will no longer be struggling to hear.
The Best Protection is Prevention
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 general health and well being depend on strong hearing. Regular hearing care, such as annual hearing exams, is just another kind of self-care.