The Recovery Ability of Your Body
While some wounds take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no problem mending cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But you’re out of luck when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ears. At least, so far. Though scientists are working on it, humans don’t heal the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. That means you could have irreversible hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
At What Point Does Loss of Hearing Become Irreversible?
The first thing you think of when you find out you have loss of hearing is, will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on many things. There are two basic kinds of loss of hearing:
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can exhibit all the signs of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide range of things, from earwax to debris to tumors. The good news is that after the blockage is cleared your hearing usually goes back to normal.
- Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more common kind of hearing loss that accounts for about 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is usually irreversible. Here’s how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears move. These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But loud noises can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Injury to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. In certain cases, especially in cases of extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant may help improve hearing.
Whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing can only be determined by having a hearing exam.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:
- Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation away.
- Ensure your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
This treatment can have many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how extreme your hearing loss is. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
People who have loss of hearing can use hearing aids to detect sounds and work as efficiently as they can. Fatigue is caused when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist acquire more insights, they have recognized an increased danger of cognitive decline with a continued lack of cognitive input. By permitting your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore cognitive function. In fact, wearing hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background sound can also be tuned out by modern hearing aids allowing you to focus on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Defense
If you get one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should focus on protecting the hearing you have. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear cleared. But that doesn’t decrease the danger from loud sounds, noises you may not even consider to be loud enough to be all that dangerous. That’s why taking the time to protect your ears is a good idea. If you are inevitably diagnosed with loss of hearing, you will have more treatment options if you take steps now to safeguard your hearing. Recovery won’t likely be a possibility but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. To find out what your best choice is, schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist.