Is There a Cure for Hearing Loss?

Yellow question mark on a background of black sign to reiterate the question; is there a cure for hearing loss.

New cures are constantly being discovered. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. You might figure that you really don’t have to be very careful about your hearing because you read some encouraging research about prospective future cures for deafness. You’ll feel like they will probably have a cure for deafness by the time you will exhibit any symptoms of hearing loss.

That’s not a smart idea. Clearly, protecting your hearing now while it’s still healthy would be the wiser choice. Scientists are making some remarkable advances on the subject of treating hearing loss though, and that includes some potential cures in the future.

Hearing loss is awful

Hearing loss is simply something that occurs. It doesn’t suggest you’re a bad person or you did something wrong or you’re being punished. It’s just part of the aging process. But developing hearing loss has some extreme disadvantages. Your social life, general wellness, and mental health can be significantly impacted by hearing loss, along with your inability to hear what’s going on around you. Neglected hearing loss can even result in a greater risk of depression and dementia. There’s lots of evidence to link neglected hearing loss to problems such as social isolation.

In general, hearing loss is a chronic and degenerative condition. This means that there’s no cure and, as time passes, it’ll get worse. This doesn’t pertain to every form of hearing loss but we’ll get to that soon. But “no cure” is not the same as “no treatment”.

If you come see us, we can help slow down the progression of your hearing loss and preserve your current levels of hearing. Hearing aids are usually the form of treatment that will be most appropriate for most types of hearing loss. So, for most people, there’s no cure, but there are treatments. And your quality of life will be immensely improved by these treatments.

Hearing loss comes in two main types

Not all hearing loss is the same. Hearing loss comes in two primary categories. One can be cured, the other can be managed. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Conductive hearing loss: When the ear canal gets blocked by something, you get this form of hearing loss. It might be caused by an accumulation of earwax. Possibly, an ear infection is causing inflammation. Whatever it is, there’s something physically preventing sound waves from traveling up to your inner ear. This kind of hearing loss can certainly be cured, normally by eliminating the blockage (or treating whatever is causing the obstruction in the first place).
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: This is the more permanent type of hearing loss. Vibrations in the air are picked up by tiny hairs in your ears called stereocilia. Your brain is able to interpret these vibrations as sound. Regrettably, these hairs are damaged as you go through life, usually by exceedingly loud sounds. And once they are damaged, the hairs no longer function. And when this happens your ability to hear becomes impaired. There’s currently no way to repair these hairs, and your body doesn’t create new ones naturally. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Sensorineural hearing loss treatments

Just because sensorineural hearing loss is permanent doesn’t mean it can’t be managed. Given your loss of hearing, allowing you to hear as much as possible is the purpose of treatment. The goal is to help you hear discussions, enhance your situational awareness, and keep you functioning independently through life.

So, what are these treatment methods? Here are some common treatments.

Hearing aids

Most likely, the single most common way of treating hearing loss is hearing aids. Hearing aids can be specially tuned to your specific hearing needs, so they’re especially useful. During the course of your day, a hearing aid will help you make out conversations and interact with others better. Hearing aids can even slow down many symptoms of social solitude (and, as a result, lower your danger of dementia and depression).

Getting your own pair of hearing aids is extremely common, and there are many styles to choose from. You’ll have to speak with us about which is best for you and your particular level of hearing loss.

Cochlear implants

When hearing loss is total, it sometimes makes sense to bypass the ears altogether. A cochlear implant does exactly that. This device is surgically inserted into the ear. This device directly transfers sound, which it has translated into electrical energy, to your cochlear nerve. This allows your brain to translate those signals into sounds.

When a person has a condition known as deafness, or complete hearing loss, cochlear implants are sometimes used. So even if your hearing has completely gone, there are still treatment options available.

Novel advances

Scientists are continuously working on new ways to treat hearing loss.

In the past, curing hearing loss has proven impossible, but that’s exactly what new advances are geared towards. Here are some of those advances:

  • Stem cell therapies: These therapies make use of stem cells from your own body. The idea is that these stem cells can then turn into new stereocilia (those little hairs in your ears). It’s not likely that we will see prescription gene therapy for a while, but for now, studies with animals are showing promise.
  • Progenitor cell activation: So the stereocilia in your ear are being created by your body’s stem cells. The stem cells go dormant after they develop stereocilia and are then referred to as progenitor cells. New therapies seek to reactivate these progenitor cells, stimulating them to once more grow new stereocilia. Encouraging outcomes for these new therapies have come from early human trials. There was a significant improvement, for most patients, in their ability to hear and understand speech. How long before these treatments are widely available, however, is unknown.
  • GFI1 Protein: Some scientists have discovered a protein that’s critical to growing new stereocilia. Scientists are hoping that they can get a clearer concept of how to get these stereocilia to grow back by recognizing this protein. This treatment is really still on the drawing board and isn’t widely available yet.

Don’t wait to get your hearing loss treated

Many of these innovations are promising. But it’s important to emphasize that none of them are available yet. Which means that it’s smart to live in the here and now. Protect your hearing now.

Don’t try to wait for that miracle cure, call us today to schedule a hearing exam.


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.

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