Growing up, you likely began to connect hearing loss with aging. You probably had older adults around you struggling to hear conversations or utilizing hearing aids.
As you become more mature, you start to realize that there is an additional factor regarding hearing loss besides aging.
Most people are hesitant to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.
You can Begin Loosing Your Hearing at any age
By the age of 12, hearing specialists can already detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 3 decades there has been a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What are the key factors involved?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have disabling hearing loss.
The issue is not with aging. It’s absolutely possible to stop, even though many people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to significantly decrease the development of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is generally triggered by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was assumed to be unavoidable when you get older. But at present, we know more concerning exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
You must comprehend that loud noise is not harmless if you wish to begin to protect your hearing.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel downward past your eardrum into your inner ear.
Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how fast or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can interpret this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a scream or whatever else you might hear.
But at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too quickly. The noise shakes them to death.
When these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent
Many types of damage can be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are lost forever. Each and every time you are exposed to loud sound, more of these cells are lost for ever.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Hearing Injury can be Caused by Common Noises
Many people are surprised to find out that everyday activities may cause hearing loss. 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
You don’t have to give up these activities. The good thing is, you can take practical steps to reduce noise-related hearing loss.
Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can acknowledge that you suffer from hearing problems without feeling older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it will 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
These are all substantially more common in people with untreated hearing loss.
How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?
The first step is to learn how to to avoid hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy things really are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Hazardous volumes should be avoided without proper hearing protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and higher causes 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. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Put on earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Observe workplace hearing protection regulations.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which have built-in volume control. These never go higher 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen nearly non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and various medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to start walking again.
Contact a Hearing Expert for a Hearing Test
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice sooner than later. The sooner you make the smart decision the less damage you will keep doing.
Consult Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing damage. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Analysis is the First Step
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they choose to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them appear old. Or they think they are too expensive.
But as soon as they recognize that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause several health and relationship issues, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!