The human body is an awesome, beautiful, confusing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? Scratches, cuts, and broken bones are typically no problem for the human body to repair (I mean, sure, it takes a while, but your body can actually heal the giant bones in your arms and legs with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to restoring the fragile little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far.
It doesn’t seem really fair when you can recover from significant bone injuries but you can’t heal tiny hairs in your ear. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?
So, let’s get right 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.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But he isn’t wrong. There are two primary forms of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can present all the indications of hearing loss. This obstruction 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, thankfully, when the blockage is removed.
- Damage induced hearing loss: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively permanent. This is how it works: there are fragile hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are converted into signals, they are transmitted to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But loud sounds can cause harm to the hairs and, over time, diminish your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one form of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you have without having a hearing test.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So at this time there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). But your hearing loss still might be treatable. In fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss might help you:
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
- Ensure your overall quality of life is untouched or stays high.
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
- Remain active socially, keeping isolation away.
- Prevent cognitive decline.
This treatment can take numerous forms, and it’ll normally depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.
Why is Hearing Loss Effectively Managed With Hearing AIds?
You can get back to the things and people you enjoy with the help of hearing aids. They can help you hear the conversation, the phone, your television, or even just the birds in the park. 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
Loud sounds and other things that would damage your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be protected against them. Your overall health and well being depend on strong hearing. Regular hearing care, such as annual hearing tests, is just another kind of self-care.