Will My Hearing Come Back?
Your Body’s Capacity to Heal
The human body typically can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, although some injuries take longer than others. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. Animals are able to heal damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t possess that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means you may have irreversible loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.
When Is Loss of Hearing Irreversible?
When you learn you have hearing loss, the first thing that most people ask is will it come back? And the answer is, it depends. There are two basic types of loss of hearing:
- Obstruction based hearing loss: You can show all the symptoms of hearing loss when there is something blocking your ear canal. This blockage can be caused by a wide variety of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. What’s promising is that once the blockage is cleared your hearing usually returns to normal.
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more common kind of hearing loss that makes up nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is usually permanent. Here’s how it works: there are little hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit by moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, as time passes, 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 improve hearing in some cases of hearing loss, particularly extreme cases.
Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by getting a hearing test.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But that’s not to say you can’t find treatment for your loss of hearing. The following are some ways that getting the appropriate treatment can help you:
- Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
- Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.
- Prevent mental decline.
Depending on how serious your loss of hearing is, this procedure can take on many kinds. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.
How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids
Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and function the best they can. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As scientist gain more insights, they have recognized a greater risk of cognitive decline with a persistent lack of cognitive input. Your mental function can begin to be restored by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, wearing hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern hearing aids will also allow you to pay attention to what you want to hear, and drown out background noises.
Prevention is The Best Defense
Hopefully, if you get one thing from this knowledge, it this: you can’t count on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should focus on protecting the hearing you have. Certainly, if you get something stuck in your ear canal, you can probably have it extracted. But many loud noises are hazardous even though you may not think they are that loud. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to protect your ears. The better you safeguard your hearing now, the more treatment options 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. Contact a hearing care expert to decide what your best choice is.