As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on people of advanced age. You may have had older people around you struggling to make out words or using hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to find out that there is an additional factor regarding hearing loss other than aging.
A lot of people are reluctant to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.
You can Start to Lose Your Ability to Hear Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, audiologists can already diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Certainly, someone who is 12 is not really “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 3 decades.
What are the key factors involved?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% already suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The issue is not with getting old. It’s 100% possible to prevent, although the majority of people might think of it as an aging problem. Considerably decreasing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, recognised medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically caused by noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. But thanks to modern science we know a lot more about hearing loss prevention and even hearing regeneration.
How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss
The initial step to safeguarding your hearing is recognizing how something as “harmless” as noise causes hearing loss.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go past your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Here, little tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how regularly these little tiny hairs vibrate. Your brain can render this code into conversations, rushing water, a warning alert, a scream or whatever else you might hear.
The problem is at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too quickly. They die because the vibrations are too loud for them to deal with.
Without them, you can not hear.
Why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Permanent
If you cut yourself, the injury heals. But when you damage these little hair cells, they cannot heal, and they never grow back. Each and every time you are subjected to loud noise, a few more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Everyday Sounds That Cause Hearing Injury
Many people are surprised to find out that everyday activities may cause hearing loss. You might not think twice about:
- 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
It’s not necessary to give up these activities. Fortunately, you can take positive steps to lessen noise-induced hearing loss.
Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, accepting it does not have to cause you to feel older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will wind up feeling older much earlier because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
For people with neglected hearing loss, suffering from one or more of these is significantly more common.
Continued Hearing Loss can be Prevented
Start by determining how to protect against hearing loss.
- Get a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud things really are.
- Learn about dangerous volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that If you have ever had difficulty hearing temporarily immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get a lot more obvious as time goes by.
- Use earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Comply with work hearing safety policies.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones that come with built-in volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen practically non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications tend to cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, don’t ever listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Use your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to walk.
Call a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Examination
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice now rather than later. You need to be aware so you can become proactive to reduce further damage.
Talk to Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing damage. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they choose to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them seem old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.
However when they recognize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause numerous health and personal problems, it’s simple to be certain that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!