The human body has some amazing and remarkable abilities. Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are normally no problem for the human body to heal (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can literally mend the giant bones in your arms and legs with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to mending the tiny little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now at least.
It doesn’t seem quite fair when you can recover from significant bone injuries but you have problems repairing tiny hairs in your ear. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?
So, let’s get right down to it. You’re at your doctor’s office attempting to process the news he’s giving you: you’re losing your hearing. So the first question you ask is whether the hearing will ever return. And the answer is… it depends.
It’s a little anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But he’s not wrong. Hearing loss comes in two primary forms:
- Damage related hearing loss: But hearing loss has another more prevalent form. This form 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. Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud noises can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is needed.
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: You can exhibit every sign of hearing loss when your ear has some type of obstruction. This blockage can be caused by a wide range of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright frightening (tumors). The good news is that once the blockage is removed, your hearing usually returns to normal.
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 having a hearing exam.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t discovered a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Counter cognitive decline.
- Maintain a high quality of life.
- Successfully cope with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be going through.
- Prevent isolation by staying socially active.
- Maintain and protect the hearing you have left.
This treatment can take various forms, and it’ll normally depend on how significant your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment For Hearing Loss?
You can get back to the people and things you love with the assistance of hearing aids. They can help you hear the conversation, your phone, your tv, 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 straining to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you should protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can harm your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is essential to your general health and well-being. Regular hearing care, such as annual hearing exams, is just another kind of self-care.