As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on older people. The majority of us have experience with older people attempting to comprehend words and phrases, or wearing hearing aids.
As you grow up, you begin to discover that there is a different cause of hearing loss in addition to aging.
A lot of people are hesitant to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it causes them to feel old.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Problem”
By the age of 12, audiologists already begin to identify 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 going on here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have debilitating hearing loss.
It’s not an aging problem. What you may consider age-associated hearing loss is actually totally avoidable. And you have the power to appreciably decrease the development of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical terminology for age-related hearing loss, is commonly brought on by loud noise.
For decades hearing loss was considered to be inescapable as you age. But in the present day, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You must realize that noise is not harmless if you wish to start to protect your ears.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Inside of the inner ear little hairs vibrate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how regularly these tiny little hairs vibrate. Your brain can turn this code into crowd noise, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a cry for help or whatever else you might hear.
The issue is that as noises become too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The noise shakes them until they die.
If these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is Permanent
If you cut your hand, the wound heals. But when you harm these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they will not ever come back again. Every time you are subjected to loud noise, a few more of these cells are lost for ever.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Hearing Injury can be Caused by Common Noises
Many people are shocked to discover that everyday activities may be the cause of hearing loss. It’s easy to overlook:
- 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 profession
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. Luckily, you can take proactive measures to minimize noise-related hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can admit that you suffer from loss of hearing without feeling older. The longer you disregard 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, these are significantly more common.
How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?
Begin by learning how to avoid hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy everyday sounds truly are by using a sound meter app on your cell phone.
- Dangerous volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) will cause permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above causes 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. As time goes by it will become worse.
- Put on earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Comply with workplace hearing safety guidelines.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. These never go higher 90 decibels. You would need to listen nearly non-stop all day to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and a few medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not wearing 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 gets much more difficult to start walking again.
Make a Hearing Exam
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Stop it. You need to be aware so you can become proactive to decrease further damage.
Consult Your Hearing Specialist About Hearing Answers
There are no “normal cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is serious, it might be time to invest in a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Evaluation is the First Step
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they choose to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids will make them seem old. Or they believe that they are too expensive.
However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause many health and personal problems, it’s simple to be certain that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much more streamlined and more advanced than you may think!