Growing up into adulthood, you probably started to connect hearing loss with aging. The majority of us have experience with older people trying to hear words and phrases, or utilizing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you begin to discover that there is an additional cause of hearing loss other than aging.
Feeling old is the biggest reason why many people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Matter how old you are, you Might Still get Hearing Loss
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Obviously, a person who is 12 is not “old”. In the past 30 years we have seen a 33% rise in teen hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The problem is not with aging. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is absolutely preventable. And you have the power to drastically decrease the advancement of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly triggered by noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was just part of getting old. But thanks to innovative science we understand a great deal more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing restoration.
How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You must understand that loud noise is not harmless if you really want to start to safeguard your ears.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel downward through your eardrum into your inner ear.
Here, tiny little hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how fast or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone screaming for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be around.
The trouble is that as sounds are too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The noise vibrates them until they die.
If these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent
If you cut yourself, the wound will heal. But when you damage these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they cannot grow back. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, a few more of these cells are lost for ever.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
There are Sounds That are Common Which can Cause Hearing Damage
This is a shocking 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
- Playing music in a band
It’s not necessary to give up these activities. It is possible to minimize noise related hearing loss by taking pro-active steps.
Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can admit that you’re suffering from loss of hearing without having to feel older. In fact, failing to admit it can doom you to faster progression and problems that will definitely cause you to you feel much older in only a few years such as:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s considerably more common for people with untreated hearing loss to suffer from one or more of these.
Continued Hearing Damage can be Prevented
Understanding how to stop hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your smart-phone that can show you how loud things are.
- Damaging volumes should be avoided without the proper ear protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Know that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing temporarily after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will become more pronounced as time goes by.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Adhere to work hearing protection rules.
- Minimize your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen pretty much non-stop all day to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and various medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, don’t ever listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to walk.
Call a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Exam
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Make the right choice sooner than later. You need to be aware so you can become proactive to decrease further damage.
Have a talk with Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Answers
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is severe, it might be time to buy a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Investing In Hearing Aids
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids will make them seem old. Or they think they are too expensive.
However when they recognize that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause various health and personal issues, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids today are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you may think!