The human body has some amazing and surprising abilities. Scratches, cuts, and broken bones are typically no problem for the human body to heal (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can literally heal the huge bones in your legs and arms with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to restoring the fragile little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. For now anyway.
It’s really unfortunate that your body can pull off such fantastic feats of healing but can’t regenerate these little hairs. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Loss Irreversible?
So, let’s get right down to it. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you have hearing impairment. So the first question you ask is whether the hearing will ever come back. And the answer is… it depends.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But he’s not wrong. There are two general types of hearing loss:
- Damage induced hearing loss: But there’s another, more prevalent form of hearing loss. This form of hearing loss, known as sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. Here’s what happens: there are delicate hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud sounds can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: You can exhibit every sign of hearing loss when your ear has some kind of obstruction. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. Fortunately, once the obstruction is cleared, your hearing often goes back to normal.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one form of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without having a hearing test.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t found a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But your hearing loss still may be manageable. As a matter of fact, getting the right treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Prevent isolation by staying socially active.
- Help stave off mental decline.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
Of the many forms of treatment available, which one is right for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. Hearing aids are one of the easiest and most common treatment options.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Practical Treatment For Hearing Loss?
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 more. You will no longer be straining to hear so pressure will be removed from your brain.
The Best Protection is Prevention
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you should protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your overall health and well being depend on strong hearing. Having routine hearing exams is the best way to be sure that you are protecting your hearing.