The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, confusing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are typically no problem for the human body to repair (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can actually heal the giant bones in your arms and legs with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to restoring the tiny little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. At least, so far.
It’s truly regrettable that your body can pull off such amazing feats of healing but can’t restore these tiny hairs. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?
So, let’s get right to it. You’re at your doctor’s office trying to process the news he’s giving you: you have hearing loss. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever return. And he tells you that it might or it might not.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. There are two primary kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing impairment caused by an obstruction: You can exhibit every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some sort of obstruction. This obstruction can be caused by a number 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.
- Damage related hearing loss: But there’s another, more common type of hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss, known as sensorineural hearing loss, is permanent. Here’s what happens: In your ear, there are little hairs that vibrate when moved by sound waves. When vibrations are converted into signals, they are sent to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But over time, loud noises can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you most likely won’t know which one you’re coping with without getting a hearing exam.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on that). But your hearing loss still may be manageable. Here are some ways that the proper treatment may help you:
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Prevent isolation by staying socially involved.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Help ward off cognitive decline.
This treatment can take various forms, and it’ll normally depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most prevalent treatments is rather simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids can help you return to the people and things you enjoy. With the help of hearing aids, you can start to hear conversations, your tv, your phone, and sounds of nature once again. Hearing aids can also remove some of the pressure from your brain because you will no longer be struggling to hear.
The Best Protection is Prevention
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you should safeguard your hearing from loud noises and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your overall health and well being depend on good hearing. Routine hearing care, like annual hearing tests, is just another type of self-care.