Will My Hearing Come Back?

Asian woman drinking coffee and straining to hear the birds outside.

The human body is an awesome, breathtaking, perplexing, confounding construction, isn’t it? Scratches, cuts, and broken bones are generally no problem for the human body to repair (with a little time, your body can repair the huge bones in your arms and legs).

But when it comes to repairing the delicate little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now at least.

It’s really unfortunate that your body can accomplish such amazing feats of healing but can’t ever re-grow these tiny hairs. So what’s the deal?

When is Hearing Impairment Permanent?

So, let’s get right to it. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re digesting the news: you’re losing your hearing. So the first question you have is whether the hearing will ever return. And the answer is… it depends.

Dramatically speaking, it’s a little anticlimactic.

But it’s also a fact. Hearing loss comes in two primary forms:

  • Hearing loss due to damage: But hearing loss has another more prevalent type. This form of hearing loss, known as sensorineural hearing loss, is irreversible. Here’s what happens: In your ear, there are tiny hairs that vibrate when struck by sound waves. Your brain is good at changing these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud noises can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
  • Obstruction induced hearing loss: When there’s something obstructing your ear canal, you can show all the indications of hearing loss. A wide variety of things, from something gross (earwax) to something frightening (a tumor), can be the cause of this blockage. Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the blockage is cleared away.

So here’s the main point: you can recover from one type of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you have without having a hearing exam.

Treating Hearing Loss

Scientists haven’t found a “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss but they’re working on it. But your hearing loss still may be manageable. Here are a few ways that the right treatment might help you:

  • Make sure your general quality of life is unaffected or remains high.
  • Help ward off cognitive decline.
  • Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
  • Stay active socially, keeping isolation at bay.
  • Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be experiencing.

Of the many types of treatment available, which one is right for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss. One of the most common treatments is fairly simple: hearing aids.

Why Are Hearing Aids a Smart Treatment For Hearing Loss?

You can return to the things and people you love with the help of hearing aids. They can help you hear the conversation, your phone, your television, or even just the birds in the park. You won’t be struggling to hear so pressure will be taken off your brain.

The Best Protection is Prevention

Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you need to safeguard your hearing from loud sounds and other things that can harm your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Your overall health and well being depend on good hearing. Having regular hearing exams is the best way to be certain that you are protecting your hearing.

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.