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

The Recovery Ability of Your Body

While some injuries take longer to heal than others, the human body usually has no issue mending cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. 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 possess that ability (though scientists are working on it). That means you may have permanent hearing loss if you injure the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

At What Point Does Hearing Loss Become Irreversible?

The first question you think of when you find out you have hearing loss is, will it come back? Whether it will or not depends on many factors. There are two basic types of hearing loss:

  • Blockage based loss of hearing: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can have all the symptoms of hearing loss. Debris, earwax, and tumors are just a few of the things that can cause a blockage. What’s promising is that once the obstruction is cleared your hearing usually returns to normal.
  • Hearing loss caused by damage: But there’s another, more common kind of hearing loss that accounts for nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often irreversible. This is how it works: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when hit with moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then changed, 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. In certain cases, particularly in cases of extreme loss of hearing, a cochlear implant may help improve hearing.

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

Treatment of Hearing Loss

So currently there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it might be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are some ways that getting the correct treatment can help you:

  • Cope successfully with the symptoms of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
  • Ensure your overall quality of life remains high or is unaffected.
  • Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
  • Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
  • Stop mental decline.

Depending on how extreme your hearing loss is, this procedure can have many forms. One of the most common treatments is pretty simple: hearing aids.

How is Hearing Loss Treated by Hearing Aids

Hearing aids help the ear with hearing loss to pick up sounds and perform the best they can. Fatigue is the result when the brain struggles to hear because hearing is hampered. As time passes the lack of sensory input has been linked to an increased risk of mental decline. Your mental function can start to be recovered by using hearing aids because they allow 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 hearing aids will also allow you to focus on what you want to hear, and drown out background sounds.

The Best Protection Is Prevention

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 protecting the hearing you’ve got. Certainly, you can have any blockages in your ear removed. But many loud noises are hazardous even though you may not think they are very loud. That’s the reason why taking the time to protect your ears is a smart plan. The better you safeguard your hearing now, the more treatment options you’ll have when and if you are eventually diagnosed with loss of hearing. Treatment can help you live a great, full life even if recovery isn’t a possibility. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care expert to decide what your best choice is.