Early in life, you most likely began to connect hearing loss with old age. Nearly all of us have had past experiences with older people struggling to hear conversations, or using hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to understand that there is an additional cause of hearing loss besides aging.
Here is the one thing you should know: recognizing that you have hearing loss isn’t going to make you old.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference What Your age is, you Might Still Have Hearing Loss
By the age of 12, audiologists can already detect some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Certainly, a person who is 12 years old is certainly not “old”. Teenage hearing loss has increased 33% within the last 30 years.
What’s going on here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds presently have disabling hearing loss.
It’s not an aging issue. It’s absolutely possible to stop, although most people might consider it an aging problem. And you have the ability to greatly minimize the progression of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognised medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly brought on by noise.
For decades hearing loss was thought to be inescapable when you get older. But today, we are more knowledgeable concerning exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The initial step to taking care of your hearing is recognizing how something as “innocent” 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.
Tiny hair cells resonate here in the inner ear. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these tiny hairs vibrate. Your brain can interpret this code into conversations, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a scream or anything else you might hear.
The issue is that as sounds get too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations become too loud for them to handle.
Without them, you can not hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible
If you cut your hand, the injury will heal. But when you injure these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they cannot grow back. Each and every time you are exposed to loud sound, a few more of these cells are lost for ever.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Common Sounds That Cause Hearing Injury
Many people are surprised to find out that routine activities might be the cause of hearing loss. You might not question:
- Going to a concert/play/movie
- Wearing earbuds/head phones
- Turning the car stereo up too loud
- 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
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. The good thing is, you can take positive steps to reduce noise-related hearing loss.
Don’t Permit Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, recognizing it doesn’t have to make you feel older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will end up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all considerably more prevalent in people with neglected hearing loss.
Avoid Continued Hearing Damage
Start by understanding exactly how to protect against hearing loss.
- Find out how noisy everyday sounds actually are by getting a sound meter app on your cell phone.
- Learn about damaging volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is around 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. It will become a lot more obvious as time goes by.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Observe workplace hearing protection regulations.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when listening at home.
- Buy earbuds/headphones that come with integrated volume control. These never go over 90 decibels. You would have to listen practically non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and various medications can cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to start walking again.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Expert
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Make the right decision now rather than later. The faster you make the wise decision the less damage you will keep doing.
Have a talk with Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they decide to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids make them seem old. Or they believe that they cost too much.
However when they realize that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause numerous health and relationship issues, it’s easy to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!