The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, perplexing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? Scratches, cuts, and broken bones are generally no problem for the human body to repair (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can actually repair the giant bones in your arms and legs with little more than some time and a splint).
But you won’t be so fortunate if the delicate hairs in your ears are damaged. At least, so far.
It doesn’t seem exactly fair when you can recover from major bone injuries but you can’t heal tiny hairs in your ear. So what’s the deal?
When is Hearing Loss Permanent?
So let’s take a closer look. You’re waiting in your doctor’s office and you’re absorbing the news: you have hearing loss. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever come back. And he informs you that it might or it might not.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. There are two general types of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss due to damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent form. Known scientifically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is effectively permanent. This is how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). When vibrations are converted into signals, they are sent to the brain which makes them into the sounds you perceive. But loud sounds can cause harm to the hairs and, over time, reduce your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
- Hearing loss caused by an obstruction: You can show every sign of hearing loss when your ear has some type of obstruction. This obstruction can be caused by a wide range of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). Fortunately, once the blockage is removed, your hearing usually goes back to normal.
So the bottom line is this: you can recover from one form of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without having a hearing exam.
Hearing Loss Treatment
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 right treatment may help you:
- Prevent cognitive decline.
- Make sure your overall quality of life is untouched or stays high.
- Stay active socially, keeping isolation away.
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you might already have.
- Protect and maintain your remaining hearing.
Of the many forms of treatment available, which one is right for you depends on the seriousness of your hearing loss. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
Hearing aids can help you return to the people and things you love. They can help you hear the conversation, your 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
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). Your general health and well being depend on good hearing. Routine hearing care, like annual hearing tests, is just another form of self-care.