Growing up, you probably started to connect hearing loss with getting old. The majority of us have experience with older people trying to understand conversations, or wearing hearing aids.
But just as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it swiftly approached, as you learn more regarding hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with aging and far more to do with something else entirely.
This is the one thing you should know: Admitting that you have hearing loss does not make you old.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference how old you are, you May Still Have Hearing Loss
Even in pre-teens, audiologists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 30 years.
What’s at work here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from disabling hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The issue is not with getting old. What you might think of as age-associated hearing loss is actually 100% avoidable. Greatly lessening your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly instigated by loud noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. However thanks to innovative science we know much more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing restoration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
Step one to taking care of your hearing is realizing how something as “harmless” as loud noise causes hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel downward past your eardrum into your inner ear.
Inside of the inner ear little hairs resonate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these tiny little hairs vibrate. Your brain can interpret this code into words, traffic sounds, a warning alert, a scream or whatever else you may hear.
But at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. The sound shakes them to death.
If these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible
Various types of damage will be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are lost permanently. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, a few more of these cells are lost for ever.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Everyday Noises Which Will Cause Hearing Injury
This is a unexpected fact for most people to find out. It’s easy to overlook:
- 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
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to reduce noise induced hearing damage by taking pro-active measures.
You Don’t Need to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can acknowledge 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
It’s far more likely for people with neglected hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.
Avoid Continued Hearing Problems
Understanding how to protect against hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Put a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud common sounds actually can be.
- Learn about damaging volumes. More than 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 higher will cause 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 get more obvious as time goes by.
- Use earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Comply with workplace hearing safety regulations.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing near to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. These don’t go higher 90 decibels. You would need to listen nearly non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be sure, don’t ever listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s much like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to walk.
Call a Hearing Expert for a Hearing Examination
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice sooner than later. The sooner you make the wise decision the less injury you will keep doing.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If you have extreme hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they choose to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or maybe they think they are too expensive.
But as soon as they recognize that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause several health and relationship problems, it’s easy to be certain that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more advanced than you probably think!