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Can Hearing Loss Be Restored?

womans hand and ear

Hearing loss is something that impacts millions of people around the world. Hearing loss doesn’t just impact the individual’s ability to hear, but it can lead to a number of different issues, such as social and emotional issues. If you have experienced hearing loss or you think you are losing your hearing, you may wonder if you can reverse it. In some cases, it is possible, but to do this, we need to break down the different types of hearing loss, and how each one can be treated. 

The Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types: 

  • Sensorineural hearing loss:This is the most common type and is permanent loss caused by damage to the auditory nerve and the cilia, which are small hair-like cells in the inner ear. 
  • Conductive hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss is caused by damage or an obstruction to the outer or middle ear, which inhibits sounds from being conducted. If you experience conductive hearing loss, there is no damage to the auditory nerve or inner ear. It could be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. 
  • Mixed hearing loss: The third type could arise from a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. For example, if you are experiencing sensorineural hearing loss, but there is also an obstruction caused by wax. 

Treating Hearing Loss by Type

The cilia and auditory nerve cannot be repaired once it is damaged, however, it is possible to treat sensorineural hearing loss with hearing aids or cochlear implants. A cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve and bypasses the damaged part of the auditory system. Many people have been able to partially reverse their hearing loss through this method. 

People can reverse this issue depending on the nature of the problem. However, it’s important to remember that not everybody can regain their hearing completely. A hearing instrument specialist can aim to restore hearing by addressing the cause of the blockage. If there is a blockage caused by wax impaction or foreign objects in the ear, they can be removed through non-invasive procedures. 

Due to the nature of the issue, the treatment decision will be made on the very specific conditions you are experiencing. This could mean that there could be a combination of methods to treat both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. 

Are There Any Drugs That Fix Hearing Loss?

From a medical perspective, there are no drugs available to treat standard hearing loss relating to noise exposure. While there are treatments being conducted of an injectable drug called FX-322 to see if it can regrow new hair cells, these clinical trials are in their infancy. As it stands, the official message from the FDA is that there are no drugs that will restore hearing loss.

Alternative Methods for Hearing Loss

Alternative medicine is another area that is continually growing in popularity and there are many natural remedies claiming to treat these ailments. While there are claims about certain essential oils that supposedly help with tinnitus and hearing loss, there is little evidence to indicate that any alternative methods can repair the hearing loss. 

What Can I Do to Protect My Hearing? 

The real solution in reversing hearing loss is to protect your hearing. You may find that if you are experiencing conductive hearing loss, you could maintain your ear health by looking after your inner ears. For example, if you experience a lot of wax, it’s important to make sure that you clean your ears regularly. However, do not use cotton swabs to remove earwax because this can push the wax inside the ear further, and potentially cause further damage to the eardrum. 

When it comes to reversing any form of sensorineural hearing loss, the best approach is to speak to a professional. Many professionals can help you to identify if you are actually experiencing sensorineural or conductive hearing loss. If you are experiencing sensorineural hearing loss, they could recommend a hearing aid. This will not just prove the quality of your hearing, but also improve the quality of your life. 

Hearing loss, as a rule, is something that cannot be restored, especially if you have been exposing yourself to loud noise over a period of years, but that’s not to say that it cannot be treated. It’s important to remember that there are a variety of hearing treatments around, and if you want to find out more, you can get in contact with us at Better Hearing of Madison County at (315) 693-3637 and we will be able to help you.