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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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

Your Body’s Capacity to Recover

The human body usually can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, even though 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 have that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means you may have irreversible hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

When Is Hearing Loss Permanent?

The first thing you think of when you learn you have loss of hearing is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on several factors. There are two fundamental types of hearing loss:

  • Loss of hearing caused by damage: But nearly 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. This kind of hearing loss, which is usually irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears vibrate. Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerve or to the inner ear. In some cases, particularly in cases of severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant might help restore hearing.
  • Blockage based loss of hearing: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can exhibit all the symptoms of hearing loss. This obstruction can be caused by a wide range of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. Your hearing generally returns to normal after the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.

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

Treatment of Hearing Loss

So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t find treatment for your hearing loss. actually, getting the correct treatment for your loss of hearing can help you:

  • Protect and preserve the hearing you have left.
  • Prevent mental decline.
  • Ensure your overall quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
  • Keep isolation away by staying socially engaged.
  • Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you might be suffering from.

This treatment can take many forms, and it’ll normally depend on how severe your loss of hearing is. One of the most common treatment options is fairly simple: hearing aids.

Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment for Hearing Loss?

People with loss of hearing can use hearing aids to perceive sounds and work as efficiently as they can. When your hearing is hindered, the brain strains to hear, which can exhaust you. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been associated with an increased chance of cognitive decay. Your cognitive function can begin to be recovered by using hearing aids because they allow your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, wearing hearing aids has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern day hearing aids will also help you focus on what you want to hear, and tune out background sounds.

Prevention is The Best Defense

Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this knowledge, it this: you can’t depend on recovering from loss of hearing, so instead you should focus on safeguarding the hearing you have. Certainly, if you get something stuck in your ear canal, more than likely you can have it removed. But lots of loud noises are harmful even though you might not think they are that loud. That’s the reason why taking the time to safeguard your ears is a good plan. The better you safeguard your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have if and when you are eventually diagnosed with hearing loss. Recovery won’t likely be an option but treatment can help you continue living a great, full life. Contact a hearing care professional to find out what your best choice is.