As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only affects people of advanced age. The majority of us have past experiences with older people trying to hear words and phrases, or using hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it fast approached, when you discover more with regards to hearing loss, you come to understand that it has less to do with old age and far more to do with something else.
Most people are reluctant to admit they have hearing loss because it makes them feel old.
It Doesn’t Make any Difference how old you are, you May Still get Hearing Loss
Even in pre-teens, hearing specialists already begin to identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teen hearing loss has gone up 33% within the last 30 years.
What’s at work here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% presently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
It’s not an aging problem. It’s 100% possible to avoid, although many people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to substantially decrease the development of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognised medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently triggered by loud noise.
For a long time people have presumed that hearing loss was simply part of getting old. But nowadays, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to safeguard your hearing and also restore it.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
Step one to protecting your hearing is learning how something as “innocent” as noise causes hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel down beyond your eardrum into your inner ear.
Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can translate this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a car horn, a cry for help or anything else you may hear.
The problem is when the inner ear is subjected to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too rapidly. The sound vibrates them to death.
If these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible
If you cut yourself, the injury heals. These little cells never heal. When they are gone, they are lost forever. The more frequently you’re subjected to loud noises, the more of these tiny hair cells you lose.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Everyday Sounds That Can Cause Hearing Damage
This is a shocking thing for most people to learn. You might 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. It is possible to reduce noise related hearing damage by employing pro-active strategies.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can accept that you suffer from loss of hearing without feeling old. The longer you neglect 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
For people with neglected hearing loss, suffering from one or more of these is considerably more likely.
How can you Avoid Further Hearing Damage?
Learning how to avoid hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Sound meter apps are available for your phone which can show you how loud things are.
- Dangerous volumes should be avoided without proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above causes instant 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 more pronounced as time goes by.
- Put on earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Respect workplace hearing protection regulations.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when listening at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. These don’t go higher 90 decibels. You would have to listen practically non-stop all the time to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications tend to cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to start walking again.
Contact a Hearing Expert for a Hearing Examination
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Make the right choice now rather than later. You need to know so that you can be proactive to reduce further damage.
Speak to Your Hearing Professional Regarding Hearing Solutions
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids make them appear old. Or perhaps they believe they are too expensive.
However as soon as they realize that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause several health and personal difficulties, it’s easy to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you may think!