The Number one Concern to be Aware of Regarding Hearing Loss
Growing up into adulthood, you probably started to connect hearing loss with aging. Most of us have experience with older people trying to make out conversations, or utilizing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you begin to realize that there is another factor regarding hearing loss apart from aging.
This is the one thing you should know: acknowledging that you have hearing loss isn’t going to make you old.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference how old you are, you Might Still Have Hearing Loss
Even before we turn 13, audiologists can already diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Needless to say, a person who is 12 years old is not “old”. Within 30 years we have seen a 33% rise in teen hearing loss.
What are the key factors involved?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The challenge is not with aging. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is actually totally preventable. And you have the power to significantly lessen the development of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, referred to medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically triggered by noise.
For ages hearing loss was believed to be inescapable when you get older. However thanks to modern-day science we understand a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing restoration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
Step one to safeguarding your ears is recognizing how something as “harmless” as noise causes hearing loss.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They move down past your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these little hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone crying for help, a waterfall, or any other sound which may be around.
But when the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too quickly. The noise vibrates them to death.
Without them, you can not hear.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Sound is not Reversible
Lots of kinds of damage will be healed by your body. These little cells never heal. When they die, they are gone permanently. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, a few more of these cells die.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Hearing Damage can be Caused by Everyday Sounds
This is a unexpected fact for most people to find out. You might not think twice about:
- 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
- Being a musician
It’s not necessary to quit these activities. The good thing is, you can take practical measures to minimize noise-induced hearing loss.
You Don’t Need to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can admit that you suffer from hearing loss without feeling older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will wind up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s considerably more likely for people with neglected hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Further Hearing Loss can be Prevented
The first step is to learn to avoid hearing loss.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your smart-phone that can tell you how loud things are.
- Learn about hazardous volumes. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher causes immediate 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. It will get a lot more pronounced over time.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Adhere to work hearing protection restrictions.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when listening at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen almost non-stop all the time to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and a few medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to walk.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Specialist
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. You need to be aware so you can be proactive to lessen further damage.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional Regarding Hearing Solutions
There are no “natural cures” for hearing loss. If you have extreme 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 maybe, they decide to “tough it out.” They think hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.
But when they understand that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause numerous health and relationship issues, it’s simple to be certain that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!