It’s pretty widely known that hearing loss can’t be reversed. But can treating your existing hearing loss help prevent further deterioration? The answer to this is a complicated one. On one hand, hearing, like eyesight, runs on its own mechanism — wearing a hearing aid or eyeglasses can’t stop the deterioration of your hearing or eyesight, if that’s where things are headed, biologically speaking. But there are a multitude of other benefits of treating hearing loss that do, in a way, help things from getting worse.
For one, hearing loss has been strongly associated with the deterioration of mental faculties in older age. Treatment of hearing loss has been shown to stop and in some cases even reverse this overall deterioration. So, while not preventing further hearing loss specifically, treatment can help to save the overall quality of life of the patient, which is arguably even more important. The hearing loss treatment is simply scaled up if the patient’s hearing gets worse through the years.
But there’s a more direct way that treating hearing loss may help save your hearing. Research shows that partial hearing loss leads to understimulation of the auditory nerve, the main nerve involved in transferring sounds from the apparatus of the inner ear to the brain. So, because the input is inadequate, the patient could actually lose more underlying function in the auditory nerve — a classic “if you don’t use it, you lose it” scenario. But treating hearing loss promptly as it occurs can fix the input issues and at the very least ensure that the auditory nerve is properly stimulated and fully functional, keeping the hearing problems localized to the apparatus of the inner ear.
So, the answer to the question of whether you should treat your hearing loss sooner rather than later is a resounding “Yes!”. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!