Your Body’s Capacity to Heal
While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no issue healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But you’re out of luck when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ears. So far, at least. Though scientists are working on it, humans don’t heal the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. What that means is, if you ruin these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have permanent loss of hearing.
When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?
The first thing you think of when you learn you have loss of hearing is, will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on a number of things. Fundamentally, there are two types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss that accounts for about 90 percent of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss, which is often irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s what occurs: there are little hairs in your ear that move when hit by moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you can hear. But loud sounds can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. In certain cases, specifically in instances of extreme loss of hearing, a cochlear implant may help improve hearing.
- Obstruction based loss of hearing: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can show all the symptoms of hearing loss. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. The good news is that after the blockage is cleared your hearing often returns to normal.
Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by getting a hearing exam.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So presently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your loss of hearing. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:
- Stop cognitive decline.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
- Stay involved socially, keeping isolation away.
- Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
- Make sure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
Depending on how severe your hearing loss is, this procedure can take on many kinds. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment for Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and function to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hampered. Over time the lack of sensory input has been associated with an increased chance of mental decay. Your mental function can begin to be recovered by using hearing aids because they let your ears hear again. as a matter of fact, it has been demonstrated that using hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Contemporary hearing aids can also help you concentrate on what you want to hear, and drown out background sounds.
The Best Defense Is Prevention
Hopefully, if you get one thing from this knowledge, it this: you should safeguard the hearing you have because you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, you can have any blockages in your ear removed. But lots of loud noises are hazardous even though you may not think they are that loud. That’s why taking the time to protect your ears is a smart idea. The better you safeguard your hearing today, the more treatment options you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Recovery won’t likely be an option but treatment can help you continue living a great, full life. To determine what your best choice is, schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist.