The human body has some amazing and surprising abilities. The human body generally has no difficulty healing cuts, scratches, or broken bones (I mean, sure, it takes a while, but your body can literally heal the giant bones in your legs and arms with little more than a splint and some time).
But you won’t be so fortunate if the tiny hairs in your ears are damaged. For now at least.
It doesn’t seem quite fair when you can recover from major bone injuries but you have problems repairing tiny hairs in your ear. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Loss Irreversible?
So, let’s get right to it. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you’re losing your hearing. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever return. And the answer is… maybe.
It’s a bit anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But it’s also the truth. There are two basic kinds of hearing loss:
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can show all the indications of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide variety of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). Your hearing will go back to normal, thankfully, when the blockage is cleared away.
- Damage related hearing loss: But hearing loss has another more common type. This kind of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. Here’s what happens: inside of your ear, there are little hairs that vibrate when struck by sound waves. When vibrations are converted into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which renders 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 here’s the main point: you can recover from one form of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you have without having a hearing exam.
Treating Hearing Loss
So currently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). But your hearing loss still might be manageable. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Protect and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Prevent isolation by staying socially active.
- Counter mental decline.
Of the many forms of treatment available, which one is correct for you depends on the seriousness of your hearing loss. One of the most common treatments is rather simple: hearing aids.
Why is Hearing Loss Successfully Treated With Hearing AIds?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you love. They can help you hear the discussions, 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 will no longer be struggling to hear.
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 critical to your overall health and well-being. Regular hearing care, like annual hearing exams, is just another type of self-care.