Woman with hearing loss wondering if her hearing will come back on its own.

The Recovery Ability of Your Body

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 get their hearing back, but humans don’t possess that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means you might have permanent hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

At What Point Does Hearing Loss Become Permanent?

When you learn you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? And the answer is, it depends. Basically, there are two types of hearing loss:

  • Blockage based hearing loss: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can have all the signs of hearing loss. Debris, earwax, and tumors are some of the things that can cause a blockage. Your hearing normally returns to normal once the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
  • Loss of hearing caused by damage: But about 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. Known clinically as sensorineural hearing loss, this kind of hearing loss is often permanent. Here’s what happens: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But loud noises can cause damage to the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. In some cases, specifically in instances of severe loss of hearing, a cochlear implant may help improve hearing.

A hearing test can help you figure out whether hearing aids will help restore your hearing.

Hearing Loss Treatment

Sensorineural hearing loss currently has no cure. But it might be possible to get treatment for your loss of hearing. The following are some ways that getting the right treatment can help you:

  • Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
  • Prevent mental decline.
  • Guarantee your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
  • Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
  • Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.

This approach can have many forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.

Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to hear sounds and function to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain strains to hear because hearing is hampered. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been linked to an increased chance of cognitive decay. Your mental function can start to be restored by using hearing aids because they let your ears hear again. In fact, using hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern hearing aids can also allow you to focus on what you want to hear, and tune out background noises.

Prevention is The Best Defense

If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should safeguard the hearing you’ve got because you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing. Certainly, you can have any obstruction in your ear removed. But many loud noises are harmful even though you might not think they are very loud. That’s why making the effort to protect your ears is a smart plan. The better you protect your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t a possibility. To determine what your best choice is, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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