Is My Hearing Loss Permanent?

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 scratches, cuts, and broken bones, although some wounds take longer than others. But when it comes to repairing the tiny little hairs in your ear, you’re out of luck. At least, so far. Even though scientists are working on it, humans don’t repair the cilia in their ears like animals can. That means you could have permanent loss of hearing if you damage the hearing nerve or those little hairs.

When Is Loss of Hearing Permanent?

When you find out you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people ask is will it come back? And the response is, it depends. Basically, there are two types of hearing loss:

  • Loss of hearing caused by damage: But there’s another, more prevalent type of hearing loss that makes up nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Known clinically as sensorineural hearing loss, this form of hearing loss is often irreversible. Here’s what takes place: When hit by moving air (sound waves), tiny little hairs in your ears move. Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you can hear. But your hearing can, over time, be permanently damaged by loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by injury to the nerve or to the inner ear. In certain cases, specifically in cases of severe loss of hearing, a cochlear implant could help improve hearing.
  • Loss of hearing caused by an obstruction: When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can experience all the symptoms of hearing loss. Debris, earwax, and tumors are just a few of the things that can cause an obstruction. Your hearing usually returns to normal once the blockage is cleared, and that’s the good news.

Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be figured out by having a hearing examination.

Treatment of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But it might be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. As a matter of fact, getting the correct treatment for your hearing loss can help you:

  • Preserve and protect the hearing you have left.
  • Keep isolation at bay by staying socially engaged.
  • Prevent cognitive decline.
  • Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.
  • Make sure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.

This approach can take many forms, and it’ll normally depend on how extreme your loss of hearing 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. Over time the lack of sensory input has been linked to a greater danger of cognitive decay. By permitting your ears to hear again, hearing aids assist the restoration of mental performance. In fact, it has been demonstrated that using hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Background sound can also be tuned out by modern-day hearing aids letting you focus on what you want to hear.

Prevention is The Best Defense

If you take away one thing from this little lesson, hopefully, it’s this: you should protect the hearing you’ve got because you can’t count on recovering from hearing loss. Sure, if you have something stuck in your ear canal, more than likely you can have it extracted. But lots of loud noises are harmful even though you may not think they are very loud. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to take the time to protect your ears. The better you safeguard 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. Make an appointment with a hearing care expert to find out what your best option 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.