Woman with hearing loss wondering if her hearing will come back on its own.

Your Body’s Ability to Recover

While some wounds take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no problem healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. Animals are capable of healing damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t have that ability (although scientists are working on it). What that means is, if you damage these hairs or the hearing nerve, you may have permanent hearing loss.

When Is Loss of Hearing Irreversible?

When you find out you have hearing loss, the first thing that most people ask is will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on many things. Basically, there are two kinds of hearing loss:

  • Obstruction based hearing loss: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. The good news is that after the obstruction is cleared your hearing often returns to normal.
  • Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more common type of hearing loss that accounts for about 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is usually irreversible. This is how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that move when hit with moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant may help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, particularly severe cases.

A hearing test can help you figure out whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.

Treatment of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss currently has no cure. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the correct treatment can help you:

  • Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
  • Ensure your general quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
  • Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
  • Prevent cognitive decline.
  • Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.

Depending on how severe your loss of hearing is, this procedure can take on many forms. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.

How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids

Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and perform the best they can. Fatigue is caused when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist acquire more knowledge, they have recognized a greater chance of cognitive decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. By allowing your ears to hear again, hearing aids help you restore mental performance. as a matter of fact, it has been shown that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background noise can also be tuned out by contemporary hearing aids enabling you to focus on what you want to hear.

The Best Defense Is Prevention

If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss, so instead you should focus on protecting the hearing you have. Certainly, if you get something blocking your ear canal, you can probably have it removed. But that doesn’t decrease the risk from loud noises, noises you might not even think are loud enough to be all that harmful. That’s why taking the time to protect your ears is a good idea. The better you safeguard your hearing now, the more treatment possibilities you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with hearing loss. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t an option. To determine what your best choice is, make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.

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