Growing up, you most likely began to connect hearing loss with aging. You might have had older adults around you trying to make out conversations or utilizing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to understand that there is a further cause of hearing loss besides aging.
Feeling old is the number one reason people don’t want to admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference What Your age is, you can Still get Hearing Loss
By the age of 12, hearing specialists already begin to detect some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Certainly, a person who is 12 years old is certainly not “old”. In the past 30 years there has been a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds currently have debilitating hearing loss.
The issue is not with getting old. It’s absolutely possible to avoid, even though most people might consider it an aging problem. Significantly lessening your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, identified medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly brought on by loud noise.
For decades hearing loss was thought to be inevitable when you age. But today, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to protect your hearing and also restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The initial step to safeguarding your hearing is learning how something as “harmless” as noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel all the way down beyond your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Tiny hair cells vibrate here within the inner ear. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how regularly these tiny hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of birds singing, someone yelling for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be around.
But at the time the inner ear is exposed to noises that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too fast. The sound shakes them until they die.
If these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Noise is Permanent
Various kinds of injury will be healed by your body. But when you harm these little hair cells, they won’t heal, and they will not grow back. Each and 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 Will Cause Hearing Loss
This is a shocking 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 industry
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be given up. The good thing is, you can take practical steps to minimize noise-induced hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can admit that you suffer from loss of hearing without having to feel older. In fact, failing to accept it can guarantee faster development and problems that will make you feel much older in only a few years like:
- 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 have problems with one or more of these.
Stop Further Hearing Problems
The first step is to learn how to to protect against hearing loss.
- Find out how loud everyday sounds really are by using a sound meter app on your cell phone.
- Learn about damaging volumes. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing damage in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher causes instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that you have already caused hearing damage if you have had a hard time hearing, or if your ears were ringing, after a concert. Over time it will get worse.
- Use earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Observe workplace hearing safety procedures.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. You would have to listen almost non-stop all day to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and various medications can cause you to be more vulnerable 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 if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to walk.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Expert
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right decision sooner than later. The sooner you make the wise decision the less injury you will keep doing.
Consult Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Hearing Aids
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they choose to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them seem old. Or maybe they believe that they cost too much.
However as soon as they realize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause several health and relationship problems, it’s simple to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more advanced than you probably think!