As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects older people. You may have had older adults around you struggling to understand words or using hearing aids.
As you grow up, you start to realize that there is an additional factor regarding hearing loss apart from aging.
Feeling old is the biggest reason people don’t want to admit they have hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make Any Difference What Your age is, you May Still Have Hearing Loss
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists can already diagnose some hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll agree, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teenage hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 30 years.
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 problem is not with getting old. What you may consider age-associated hearing loss is actually totally avoidable. Dramatically lessening your hearing loss is very achievable.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is frequently caused by loud noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was just part of getting old. But today, scientists know more concerning exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss
Step one to taking care of your ears is learning how something as “harmless” as noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
In the inner ear little hairs 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 yelling for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be near you.
The trouble is that as noises become too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. They die because the vibrations get to be too strong for them to deal with.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Sound is not Reversible
Many types of injury can be healed by your body. But when you injure these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they never grow back again. The more you’re subjected to loud noises, the more tiny hair cells die.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
Hearing Injury can be Caused by Common Noises
This is a unexpected fact for most people to learn. You may not question:
- 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 industry
- Playing music in a band
You don’t have to give up these activities. Thankfully, you can take proactive measures to reduce noise-related hearing loss.
You Don’t Need to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss
If you already suffer from hearing loss, admitting it does not need 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, these are significantly more likely.
How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?
The first thing you have to do is learn how to to protect against hearing loss.
- Determine how loud everyday sounds truly are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Recognize that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing briefly 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 and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Adhere to workplace hearing safety restrictions.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which have integrated volume control. They don’t go higher 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 some medications tend to make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to start walking again.
Contact a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Examination
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise choice the less injury you will keep doing.
Consult Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Solutions
There are no “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If hearing loss is severe, it might be time to invest in a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids make them feel old. Or maybe they think they are too expensive.
However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause various health and relationship difficulties, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!