The human body has some fantastic and surprising abilities. Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are generally no problem for the human body to heal (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can literally repair the huge bones in your legs and arms with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to repairing the delicate little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far.
It’s truly regrettable that your body can pull off such amazing feats of healing but can’t regenerate these little hairs. What’s happening there?
When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?
So let’s take a closer look. You’re at your doctor’s office attempting to digest the news he’s giving you: you’re losing your hearing. So the first question you ask is whether the hearing will ever come back. And the answer is… maybe.
It’s a bit anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But he isn’t wrong. Hearing loss comes in two basic forms:
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: You can exhibit every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some sort of blockage. This obstruction can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). The good news is that once the blockage is removed, your hearing usually goes back to normal.
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively permanent. This is how it works: there are fragile hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are transformed into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, diminish your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
So the bottom line is this: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without having a hearing exam.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t found a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Remain active socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Help ward off mental decline.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Maintain a high quality of life.
- Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
This treatment can take numerous forms, and it’ll normally depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why is Hearing Loss Successfully Managed With Hearing AIds?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you love. They can help you hear the conversation, the phone, your television, or even just the sounds of nature. You won’t 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 need to protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can harm your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is critical to your overall health and well-being. Having regular hearing exams is the best way to be sure that you are protecting your hearing.