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Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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

The Healing Ability of Your Body

The human body generally can heal scrapes, cuts, and broken bones, even though some injuries take longer than others. But when it comes to fixing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. So far, at least. Animals are capable of healing damage to the cilia in their ears and recover their hearing, but humans don’t have that ability (although scientists are working on it). That means you may have permanent loss of hearing if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

When Is Loss of Hearing Permanent?

The first question you think of when you learn you have hearing loss is, will it come back? And the answer is, it depends. There are two fundamental kinds of loss of hearing:

  • Blockage based hearing loss: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can have all the signs 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.
  • Damage based loss of hearing: But around 90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by another, more prevalent cause. This kind of hearing loss, which is often irreversible, is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This is how it works: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears move. These vibrations are then turned, by your brain, into signals that you hear as sound. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. A cochlear implant may help restore hearing in some cases of hearing loss, especially extreme cases.

A hearing exam will help you determine whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing.

Hearing Loss Treatment

Sensorineural hearing loss currently has no cure. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the appropriate treatment can help you:

  • Stop mental decline.
  • Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
  • Successfully deal with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
  • Keep isolation away by staying socially engaged.
  • Make sure your all-around quality of life remains high or is unaffected.

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

How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids

People who have loss of hearing can use hearing aids to perceive sounds and work as efficiently as they can. 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 a greater chance of cognitive decay. Your cognitive function can begin to be restored by using hearing aids because they let your ears hear again. As a matter of fact, using hearing aids has been shown to slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Modern day hearing aids can also allow you to focus on what you want to hear, and tune out background noises.

Prevention is The Best Defense

Hopefully, if you take one thing away from this knowledge, it this: you should protect the hearing you’ve got because you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss. Certainly, if you have something stuck in your ear canal, you can probably have it cleared. But lots of loud noises are harmful even though you might not think they are very loud. That’s why it’s a good strategy to take the time to safeguard your ears. If you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing, you will have more treatment possibilities if you take steps now to protect your hearing. Recovery won’t likely be an option but treatment can help you keep living a great, full life. Contact a hearing care professional to decide what your best option is.

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