Your Body’s Capacity to Recover
While some wounds take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no issue 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. Although scientists are working on it, humans can’t heal the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. That means, if you injure these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have irreversible hearing loss.
At What Point Does Hearing Loss Become Irreversible?
The first question you think of when you find out you have hearing loss is, will it come back? And the response is, it depends. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can have all the symptoms of hearing loss. Debris, earwax, and tumors are some of the things that can cause an obstruction. Your hearing usually returns to normal after the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.
- Damage based loss of hearing: But around 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is often irreversible. Here’s what takes place: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But loud noises can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant could help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, specifically severe cases.
A hearing exam can help you determine whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it may be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the proper treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:
- Protect and preserve the hearing you have left.
- Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Make sure your all-around quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Stop cognitive decline.
This treatment can have many forms, and it’ll normally depend on how extreme your loss of hearing is. One of the most basic treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and perform to the best of their ability. When your hearing is hampered, the brain strains to hear, which can fatigue you. As scientist acquire more knowledge, they have recognized an increased chance of cognitive decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. Your cognitive function can start to be recovered by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. In fact, wearing hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be drowned out by modern-day hearing aids allowing you to concentrate on what you want to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should concentrate on protecting the hearing you’ve got. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear cleared. But many loud noises are dangerous even though you might not think they are that loud. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to take the time to protect your ears. If you are eventually diagnosed with hearing loss, you will have more treatment possibilities if you take measures today to safeguard your hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t a possibility. Contact a hearing care professional to decide what your best option is.