As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects people of advanced age. Almost all of us have had experience with older people struggling to make out conversations, or utilizing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to understand that there is a further cause of hearing loss in addition to aging.
This is the most important thing to know: accepting that you have hearing loss does not make you old.
You can Start to Lose Your Ability to Hear Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to identify some hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. In the past 3 decades there has been a 33% increase in teen hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from disabling hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The issue is not with aging. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is actually absolutely preventable. Considerably reducing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, referred to medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently instigated by loud noise.
For decades hearing loss was assumed to be unavoidable when you get older. But nowadays, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to take care of your hearing and also restore it.
How Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You must comprehend that loud noise is not harmless if you really want to start to safeguard your hearing.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel all the way down past your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Here, tiny little hair cells in your inner ear resonate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these tiny hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone shouting for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be around.
But at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too rapidly. The sound shakes them until they die.
Without them, you can not hear.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Sound is not Reversible
If you cut yourself, the injury will heal. But when you damage these little hair cells, they cannot heal, and they cannot ever come back. The more frequently you’re subjected to loud noises, the more of these little hair cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
There are Noises That are Common Which can Cause Hearing Loss
This is a shocking fact for most people to discover. It’s very easy to discount:
- Going to a concert/play/movie
- Wearing earbuds/head phones
- Turning the car stereo way up
- Mowing the lawn
- Using farm equipment
- Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
- Driving on a busy highway with the windows or top down
- Working in a factory or other loud profession
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to lessen noise associated hearing loss by employing pro-active measures.
Don’t Permit Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, admitting it doesn’t have to make you feel older. The longer you dismiss it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will end up feeling older much earlier because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all significantly more common in people with neglected hearing loss.
Stop Further Hearing Injury
Understanding how to avoid hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Find out how noisy things actually are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Damaging volumes should be avoided without the correct hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that you have already caused hearing damage if you have had a hard time hearing, or if your ears were ringing, after a concert. Over time it will get worse.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Observe work hearing safety restrictions.
- Minimize your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen almost non-stop all the time to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications tend to make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to start walking again.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right decision sooner than later. The sooner you make the smart choice the less injury you will keep doing.
Consult Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Solutions
There are no “natural cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is serious, it might be time to invest in a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Assessment of Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or maybe they believe that they cost too much.
But when they realize that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause various health and relationship problems, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you probably think!