As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on older people. Many of us have had experience with older people trying to understand words and phrases, or utilizing hearing aids.
But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it rapidly drew near, as you learn more concerning hearing loss, you find out that it has less to do with aging and far more to do with something else entirely.
This is the most important thing you should know: acknowledging that you have hearing loss doesn’t make you old.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Dilemma”
Even in pre-teens, hearing specialists already begin to detect some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Needless to say, someone who is 12 years old is not really “old”. Teenage hearing loss has gone up 33% within the last 30 years.
What’s going on here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from disabling hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
It’s not an aging issue. What you may consider age-associated hearing loss is actually 100% avoidable. And you have the power to drastically lessen the progression of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical term for age-related hearing loss, is generally triggered by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was thought to be inescapable as you age. However thanks to modern science we know a great deal more about hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
Step one to taking care of your hearing is understanding how something as “innocent” as noise causes hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel all the way down through your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear resonate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can translate this code into words, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a scream or anything else you might hear.
But at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells shake too quickly. The sound vibrates them to death.
Without them, you can’t hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is Permanent
Most types of injury can be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are gone permanently. Each and every time you are exposed to loud sound, a few more of these cells die.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
There are Sounds That are Common Which Will Cause Hearing Damage
Most people are surprised to discover that routine activities can be the cause of hearing loss. 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 manufacturing plant or other loud industry
- Being a musician
You don’t have to give up these activities. Luckily, you can take proactive steps to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, admitting it doesn’t need to make you feel older. Actually, failing to admit it can guarantee faster progression and difficulties that will certainly cause you to you feel a lot older in only a few years like:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s significantly more common for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Further Hearing Loss can be Avoided
Understanding how to avoid hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Get a sound meter app on your smart-phone, and find out how loud common sounds truly are.
- Learn about hazardous volumes. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that If you have ever had trouble hearing temporarily immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Wear earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Observe workplace hearing protection policies.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which have built-in volume control. They never go higher 90 decibels. You would need to listen almost non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications tend to cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, don’t ever listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to start walking again.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Expert
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Make the right choice sooner than later. You need to know so that you can become proactive to decrease further damage.
Speak to Your Hearing Professional Regarding Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing loss. If you have extreme hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they choose to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them appear old. Or perhaps they think they cost too much.
However as soon as they recognize that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause several health and relationship complications, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care expert now about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids today are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!