The human body is a wonderful, breathtaking, confusing, confounding construction, isn’t it? Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are typically no problem for the human body to mend (with a little time, your body can restore the giant bones in your arms and legs).
But when it comes to mending the tiny little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. At least, so far.
It doesn’t seem quite fair when you can heal 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 take a closer look. You’re at your doctor’s office trying to process the news he’s giving you: you’re losing your hearing. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And he informs you that it might or it might not.
It’s a little anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But he isn’t wrong. There are two general forms of hearing loss:
- Damage related hearing loss: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. This kind of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss, is permanent. This is how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, reduce your hearing to the point where you require treatment.
- Blockage induced hearing loss: You can exhibit every indicator of hearing loss when your ear has some type of obstruction. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the obstruction is cleared away.
So the bottom line is this: you can recover from one form 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 get treatment for your hearing loss. Here are some ways that the proper treatment might help you:
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be enduring.
- Maintain a high quality of life.
- Prevent isolation by remaining socially involved.
- Help ward off mental decline.
- Maintain and protect the hearing you have left.
This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your hearing loss is. Hearing aids are one of the easiest and most common treatment options.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
Hearing aids can help you return to the people and things you enjoy. They can help you hear the conversation, the phone, your tv, or even just the birds in the park. 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 should protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your general health and well being depend on good hearing. Having routine hearing exams is the best way to be certain that you are protecting your hearing.