The human body is an awesome, breathtaking, confusing, confounding construction, isn’t it? The human body typically has no difficulty repairing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones (I mean, sure, it takes a while, but your body can actually mend the giant bones in your legs and arms with little more than some time and a splint).
But when it comes to restoring the delicate little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now anyway.
It doesn’t seem really fair when you can heal from significant 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 have a closer look. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you have hearing loss. So the first question you ask is whether the hearing will ever come back. And the answer is… maybe.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also a fact. Hearing loss comes in two primary forms:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can present all the symptoms of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide range of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright frightening (tumors). Your hearing will go back to normal, thankfully, when the obstruction is cleared away.
- Hearing loss due to damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. This kind of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is permanent. This is how it works: In your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when struck by 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 required.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you have without getting a hearing exam.
Treating Hearing Loss
So at this time there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). But your hearing loss still may be manageable. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Help stave off cognitive decline.
- Avoid isolation by staying socially involved.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be enduring.
- Maintain and protect the hearing you have left.
- Ensure your total quality of life is untouched or remains high.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your hearing loss is. Hearing aids are one of the simplest and most common treatment options.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment For Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids can help you return to the people and things you enjoy. They can help you hear the discussions, the phone, your television, or even just the sounds of nature. You will no longer be straining to hear so pressure will be taken off your brain.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Loud noises and other things that would harm your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be protected against them. Hearing well is essential to your general health and well-being. Regular hearing care, like annual hearing tests, is just another form of self-care.