As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on the older generation. Many of us have past experiences with older people struggling to understand words and phrases, or wearing hearing aids.
But just as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it fast approached, as you discover more about hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with growing old and far more to do with something else entirely.
Most people are hesitant to admit they have hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.
You can Start to Lose Your Hearing Even When Your Younger
By the age of 12, audiologists can already identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Obviously, a person who is 12 is not really “old”. In the past 3 decades we have seen a 33% rise in teen hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds currently have disabling hearing loss.
The challenge is not with aging. What you might consider age-related hearing loss is actually totally preventable. And you have the power to significantly decrease the development of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically caused by loud noise.
For a long time people have thought that hearing loss was simply part of aging. But thanks to modern science we understand a great deal more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing restoration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
You need to appreciate that loud noise is not harmless if you really want to begin to protect your ears.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They move down beyond your eardrum into your inner ear.
Inside of the inner ear little hairs vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of traffic, someone shouting for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be around.
But when the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. The sound vibrates them to death.
If these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Sound is not Reversible
Many types of injury will be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are gone forever. Each and every time you are exposed to loud noise, more of these cells die.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Hearing Injury can be Caused by Everyday Sounds
This is a shocking thing for most people to learn. You might not question:
- 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
- Being a musician
These activities don’t need to be given up. The good thing is, you can take proactive measures to reduce noise-related hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can acknowledge that you suffer from loss of hearing without feeling old. In reality, failing to accept it can guarantee faster progression and difficulties that will definitely cause you to you feel a lot older in only a few short years including:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s significantly more likely for people with neglected hearing loss to suffer from one or more of these.
Avoid Continued Hearing Problems
The first thing you have to do is learn to avoid hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy everyday sounds really are by getting a sound meter app on your cell phone.
- Unsafe volumes should be avoided without proper hearing protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher results in instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you’ve ever had trouble hearing temporarily immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get a lot more pronounced as time goes by.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Adhere to work hearing protection procedures.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing near to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. They never go higher 90 decibels. You would have to listen almost non-stop all the time to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and various medications can make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not using 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 harder to walk.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Are you in denial or procrastinating on it? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise choice the less damage you will continue to do.
Have a talk with Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Answers
There are no “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids will make them feel old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.
However as soon as they realize that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause many health and personal difficulties, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care expert now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much more streamlined and more advanced than you may think!