The human body is an awesome, breathtaking, perplexing, confounding construction, isn’t it? The human body generally has no difficulty repairing cuts, scrapes, 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 some time and a splint).
But when it comes to restoring the tiny little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now at least.
It’s truly regrettable that your body can accomplish such fantastic feats of healing but can’t restore these tiny hairs. 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 have hearing impairment. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever come back. And he tells you that it may or may not.
It’s a bit anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.
But it’s also a fact. Hearing loss comes in two basic forms:
- Hearing impairment caused by an obstruction: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can exhibit all the indications of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright frightening (tumors). Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the obstruction is removed.
- Hearing loss due to damage: But there’s another, more common type of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively permanent. Here’s what happens: inside of your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when moved by sound waves. When vibrations are transformed into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But over time, loud sounds can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
So here’s the main point: there’s one type of hearing loss you can recover from, and you might need to get examined to see which one you have.
Treating Hearing Loss
So currently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on that). But that doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the proper treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation at bay.
- Help fend off cognitive decline.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is unaffected or stays high.
- Protect and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you might already have.
Of the many forms of treatment available, which one is correct for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. One of the most prevalent treatments is rather simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you enjoy. They can help you hear the discussions, your phone, your tv, or even just the birds in the park. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of your brain because you won’t be struggling to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you need to protect your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can damage your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Having regular hearing exams is the best way to be certain that you are protecting your hearing.