The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, perplexing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? The human body typically has no difficulty mending cuts, scratches, or broken bones (with a little time, your body can repair the huge bones in your arms and legs).
But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. At least, so far.
It’s truly unfortunate that your body can accomplish such fantastic feats of healing but can’t ever re-grow these tiny hairs. What’s happening there?
When is Hearing Loss Permanent?
So, let’s get right down to it. You’re at your doctor’s office trying to process the news he’s giving you: you have hearing loss. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever come back. And he informs you that it may or may not.
It’s a little anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But he isn’t wrong. Hearing loss comes in two general forms:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: You can show every sign of hearing loss when your ear has some kind of obstruction. This blockage can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). Your hearing will return to normal, thankfully, when the blockage is removed.
- Hearing loss due to damage: But there’s another, more prevalent form of hearing loss. Known scientifically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is effectively irreversible. Here’s what happens: In your ear, there are little hairs that vibrate when struck by sound waves. Your brain is good at changing 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 most likely won’t know which one you have without getting a hearing test.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t discovered a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But your hearing loss still may be manageable. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Maintain and safeguard the hearing you have left.
- Successfully cope with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be enduring.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Help stave off mental decline.
- Avoid isolation by remaining socially involved.
Of the many types of treatment available, which one is right for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. One of the most common treatments is pretty 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. They can help you hear the conversation, your phone, your television, or even just the sounds of nature. Hearing aids can also remove some of the pressure from your brain because you won’t be struggling to hear.
The Best Protection is Prevention
Loud sounds and other things that would harm your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be protected against them. Your overall health and well being depend on good hearing. Routine hearing care, such as annual hearing tests, is just another type of self-care.