As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on the older generation. Most of us have experience with older people attempting to hear conversations, or wearing hearing aids.
But just as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it rapidly drew near, as you learn more regarding hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with old age and far more to do with something else entirely.
Feeling old is the main reason why many people don’t want to admit they have hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference how old you are, you Might Still get Hearing Loss
Even in pre-teens, audiologists already begin to detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. In the past 3 decades we have seen a 33% increase in teen hearing loss.
What are the key factors involved?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have disabling hearing loss.
It’s not an aging issue. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is absolutely avoidable. Dramatically minimizing your hearing loss is within reach.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly caused by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was believed to be inescapable when you get older. But nowadays, hearing specialists are more knowledgeable concerning how to take care of your hearing and also restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
You must appreciate that noise is not harmless if you want to begin to protect your hearing.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go past your eardrum and into the inner ear.
In the inner ear little hairs vibrate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how regularly these tiny little hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of running water, someone shouting for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be near you.
The issue is that when sounds become too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The noise vibrates them until they die.
When these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent
Countless types of damage can be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they are gone, they are lost forever. Each and every time you are subjected to loud sound, more of these cells are lost for ever.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
Everyday Noises Which Cause Hearing Injury
This is a surprising thing for most people to learn. 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
- Playing music in a band
You don’t have to quit these activities. Thankfully, you can take proactive measures to minimize noise-related hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can accept that you’re suffering from hearing loss without having to feel old. The longer you disregard it, the worse it will get, and you will end up feeling older much earlier because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all considerably more common in people with untreated hearing loss.
Continued Hearing Damage can be Avoided
Understanding how to prevent hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your cellphone that can tell you how loud things actually are.
- Learn about damaging volumes. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause permanent hearing loss in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you have ever had difficulty hearing for a short time immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. Over time it will become worse.
- Wear earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Respect workplace hearing safety procedures.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones that have integrated volume control. They don’t go higher 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen pretty much non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and some medications can cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to start walking again.
Call a Hearing Expert for a Hearing Test
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the smart decision the less injury you will keep doing.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Answers
There are no “normal cures” for hearing loss. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Evaluation is the First Step
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They think hearing aids will make them seem old. Or they think they are too expensive.
But when they understand that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause several health and relationship complications, it’s simple to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more sophisticated than you probably think!