As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on the older generation. Almost all of us have past experiences with older people struggling to understand words and phrases, or using hearing aids.
But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it swiftly drew near, when you learn more with regards to hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with growing old and far more to do with something else entirely.
This is the most important thing you should know: accepting that you have hearing loss will not make you old.
You can Start Losing Your Ability to Hear at any age
Even in pre-teens, hearing specialists can already identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 30 years we have seen a 33% increase in teenage hearing loss.
What’s going on here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds currently have debilitating hearing loss.
It’s not an aging issue. It’s totally possible to avoid, despite the fact that most people might consider it an aging problem. And you have the ability to substantially reduce the progression of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognised medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly brought on by loud noise.
For decades hearing loss was thought to be inescapable as you age. But today, we are more knowledgeable concerning how to take care of your hearing and even restore it.
How Noise Causes Hearing Loss
The initial step to protecting your ears is recognizing how something as “innocent” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Tiny hair cells vibrate here within the inner ear. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these little hairs vibrate. Your brain can turn this code into crowd noise, traffic sounds, a car horn, a yell or whatever else you might hear.
The problem is that as sounds become too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations get to be too loud for them to handle.
Without them, you can not hear.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent
If you cut your body, the injury heals. But when you injure these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they never ever grow back. Every time you are subjected to loud sound, more of these cells die.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
There are Noises That are Common Which can Cause Hearing Loss
This is a unexpected thing for most people to discover. It’s very 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 minimize noise related hearing damage by taking pro-active strategies.
Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can accept that you suffer from loss of hearing without having to feel old. The longer you dismiss it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will end up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all considerably more common in people with neglected hearing loss.
How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?
The first thing you have to do is learn how to to counter hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy things truly are by getting a sound meter app on your smart-phone.
- Learn about damaging volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher results in immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that If you have ever had trouble hearing briefly after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will become a lot more obvious as time goes by.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Respect workplace hearing safety rules.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Buy earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. They never go higher 90 decibels. You would need to listen nearly non-stop all the time to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and a few medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to walk.
Make a Hearing Exam
Are you in denial or procrastinating on it? Make the right decision sooner than later. The faster you make the smart decision the less injury you will continue to do.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional Regarding Hearing Solutions
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is serious, it might be time to invest in a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Assessment is the First Step
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they decide to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids will make them seem old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.
But as soon as they understand that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause various health and personal complications, it’s simple to be certain that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids today are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you probably think!