The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, perplexing, confounding construction, isn’t it? 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 huge bones in your legs and arms).
But you won’t be so fortunate if the tiny hairs in your ears are damaged. For now at least.
It doesn’t seem really fair when you can recover from major bone injuries but you have problems repairing tiny hairs in your ear. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Impairment Irreversible?
So, let’s get right to it. You’re waiting in your doctor’s office and you’re digesting the news: you have hearing loss. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And the answer is… it depends.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also a fact. There are two primary types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. This kind of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is permanent. Here’s what happens: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are transformed into signals, they are sent to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But loud noises can cause harm to the hairs and, over time, diminish your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
- Hearing impairment caused by an obstruction: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the obstruction is removed.
So the bottom line is this: there’s one type of hearing loss you can recuperate from, and you might need to get examined to see which one you’re dealing with.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Scientists haven’t found a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But your hearing loss still might be manageable. In fact, getting the right treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Remain engaged socially, keeping isolation away.
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be enduring.
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Maintain and protect the hearing you have left.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how significant your hearing loss is. Hearing aids are one of the simplest and most common treatment options.
Why is Hearing Loss Effectively Managed With Hearing AIds?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you enjoy. With the help of hearing aids, you can begin to hear conversations, your television, your phone, and sounds of nature once again. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of 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 protect your hearing from loud noises and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your overall health and well being depend on strong hearing. Having regular hearing exams is the best way to be sure that you are safeguarding your hearing.