The human body is an awesome, breathtaking, perplexing, confounding construction, isn’t it? The human body usually has no issue healing cuts, scratches, or broken bones (with a little time, your body can repair the huge bones in your arms and legs).
But when it comes to restoring the fragile little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. For now at least.
It doesn’t seem exactly fair when you can heal from significant bone injuries but you can’t heal tiny hairs in your ear. What’s happening there?
When is Hearing Impairment Irreversible?
So let’s have a closer look. You’re waiting in your doctor’s office and you’re digesting the news: you have hearing impairment. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever come back. And the answer is… it depends.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
But it’s also a fact. Hearing loss comes in two primary forms:
- Hearing loss caused by a blockage: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. A wide range of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the blockage is removed.
- Hearing loss caused by damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively irreversible. This is how it works: inside of your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when struck by sound waves. Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But loud sounds can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, reduce your hearing to the point where you need treatment.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you have without getting a hearing test.
Treating Hearing Loss
Scientists haven’t found a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But that’s not to say you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. In fact, getting the right treatment for your hearing loss may help you:
- Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you might already have.
- Ensure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
- Maintain and protect the hearing you have left.
- Help stave off cognitive decline.
- Stay engaged socially, keeping isolation away.
Of the many forms of treatment available, which one is the right choice for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. One of the most prevalent treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Practical Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
You can get back to the things and people you love with the assistance of hearing aids. With the help of hearing aids, you can begin to hear conversations, your tv, your phone, and sounds of nature once again. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of your brain because you will no longer be struggling to hear.
The Best Protection is Prevention
Loud sounds and other things that would harm your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be protected against them. Hearing well is critical to your general health and well-being. Regular hearing care, such as annual hearing tests, is just another form of self-care.