If you’ve had trouble hearing, you might be asking yourself, “can I reverse hearing loss?” The answer is not particularly clear cut.
Hearing loss can be a significant frustration and reduce the quality of life. It can also be scary. Poor hearing is associated with isolation, depression, and other symptoms that you ultimately don’t want.
Finding ways to restore hearing, therefore, is a priority for many.
But can you get your hearing back?
It ultimately depends on what’s causing the problem.
When hearing loss is caused by damage to tissue in the ear, auditory nerves, or cilia—the tiny hairline cells in the ear—it is irreversible. The only way to regain hearing would be with a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
But that is not the only reason why you could have trouble hearing. Sometimes, blockage or obstruction can occur that inhibits your ability to process sound. In many cases, this type of hearing loss can be restored.
This type of hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss, and it can arise from several causes. Some types include:
- Wax buildup
- Abnormal growths
- Foreign objects in your ear
Hearing can be restored if these blockages are safely removed.
Earwax helps to protect and clean ears, and your ears will generally moderate wax levels. If you use cotton swabs to clean your ears, you may push the wax in deeper and potentially cause a blockage that will make it harder to hear.
Mineral or baby oil can help soften wax to work its way out.
Hearing impairments caused by infections are also reversible. Antibiotics generally take care of the problem. However, they aren’t always needed. Sometimes, they take care of themselves, and an ear flush can get rid of any residue.
Growths or foreign objects can generally be removed. If they have not caused any tissue damage, hearing should be fully restored once they are gone.
Hearing loss can be alarming regardless of the cause, but it doesn’t always signal the beginning of the end. Depending on the cause, hearing loss could be reversible.