Can I Recover From Hearing Impairment?

Asian woman drinking coffee and straining to hear the birds outside.

The human body is an awesome, beautiful, confusing, confounding piece of work, isn’t it? The human body generally has no issue repairing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones (I mean, sure, it takes a while, but your body can actually mend the giant bones in your arms and legs with little more than a splint and some time).

But you won’t be so lucky if the fragile hairs in your ears are damaged. At least, so far.

It doesn’t seem really fair when you can heal from considerable bone injuries but you have problems repairing tiny hairs in your ear. What’s happening there?

When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?

So let’s take a closer look. You’re at your doctor’s office trying 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 come back. And the answer is… maybe.

It’s a bit anticlimactic, speaking dramatically.

But it’s also the truth. Hearing loss comes in two basic forms:

  • Damage induced hearing loss: But hearing loss has another more common type. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively permanent. Here’s what happens: inside of your ear, there are little hairs that vibrate when struck by 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 damage to the hairs and, over time, diminish your hearing to the point where you require treatment.
  • Hearing impairment caused by a blockage: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can exhibit all the symptoms of hearing loss. This blockage can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright scary (tumors). The good news is that once the obstruction is cleared, your hearing often returns to normal.

So the bottom line is this: there’s one type of hearing loss you can recover from, and you might need to get tested to see which one you have.

Hearing Loss Treatment

So presently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). But your hearing loss still may be treatable. Here are some ways that the correct treatment might help you:

  • Avoid isolation by staying socially involved.
  • Successfully manage hearing loss symptoms you may already have.
  • Counter cognitive decline.
  • Maintain and safeguard the hearing you have left.
  • Preserve a high quality of life.

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 fairly simple: hearing aids.

Why is Hearing Loss Successfully Managed With Hearing AIds?

You can get back to the things and people you love with the assistance 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 take some of the pressure off of your brain because you will no longer be straining to hear.

Prevention is The Best Protection

Loud noises and other things that would damage your hearing should be avoided and your ears should be safeguarded against them. Hearing well is essential to your general health and well-being. Regular hearing care, like annual hearing tests, is just another form of self-care.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.