Is My Hearing Loss Permanent?

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

The Recovery Capability of Your Body

While some wounds take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no issue healing cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Though scientists are working on it, humans can’t repair the cilia in their ears in the same way animals can. That means you could have irreversible hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

At What Point Does Loss of Hearing Become Irreversible?

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

  • Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: You can experience all the symptoms of hearing loss when there is something obstructing your ear canal. This blockage can be caused by a wide range of things, from debris to earwax to tumors. Your hearing generally returns to normal once the obstruction is cleared, and that’s the good news.
  • Hearing loss caused by damage: But about 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more common cause. This kind of hearing loss, which is usually permanent, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But your hearing can, as time passes, be permanently harmed by loud noises. Damage to the inner ear or nerve can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. A cochlear implant can help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, especially extreme cases.

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

Hearing Loss Treatment

So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it might be possible to get treatment for your loss of hearing. As a matter of fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:

  • Protect and preserve the hearing you still have.
  • Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
  • Stop cognitive decline.
  • Guarantee your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
  • Successfully deal with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.

This approach can take many forms, and it’ll normally depend on how severe your loss of hearing is. One of the most basic treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.

Why Are Hearing Aids an effective Treatment for Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids assist the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and function to the best of their ability. Fatigue is the result when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hampered. Over time the lack of sensory input has been connected with a greater risk of mental decay. By allowing your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of cognitive function. as a matter of fact, it has been shown that using hearing aids can 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 noises.

The Best Defense Is Prevention

If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should safeguard the hearing you have because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, you can have any blockages in your ear removed. But that doesn’t decrease the threat from loud noises, noises you might not even consider to be loud enough to really be all that harmful. That’s why taking the time to protect your ears is a smart plan. The better you protect your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have if and when you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t an option. Contact a hearing care expert to find out what your best choice is.

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.