As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects the older generation. Nearly all of us have had past experiences with older people struggling to hear conversations, or using hearing aids.
But just as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it quickly approached, when you learn more concerning hearing loss, you find that it has less to do with getting old and much more to do with something else entirely.
Here is the most important thing you should know: acknowledging that you have hearing loss isn’t going to make you old.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Problem”
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists can already detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Certainly, someone who is 12 is certainly not “old”. In the past 3 decades there has been a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% already suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The difficulty is not with getting old. It’s absolutely possible to prevent, even though the majority of people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the ability to greatly reduce the advancement of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically caused by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was believed to be inescapable as you get older. But presently, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to safeguard your hearing and even restore it.
How Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You need to comprehend that noise is not harmless if you want to begin to protect your hearing.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Within the inner ear little hairs resonate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how fast or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can translate this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a car horn, a yell or whatever else you may hear.
The problem is at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too rapidly. The sound shakes them to death.
When these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Noise is Permanent
If you cut your body, the injury heals. These little cells never heal. When they die, they are gone permanently. The more often you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more tiny cells you lose.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Hearing Injury can be Caused by Everyday Sounds
Many people are shocked to learn that everyday activities may be the cause of hearing loss. It’s easy to overlook:
- 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 manufacturing plant or other loud industry
- Being a musician
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. Fortunately, you can take proactive measures to reduce noise-related hearing loss.
Don’t Permit Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can accept that you’re suffering from hearing problems without feeling old. The longer you dismiss it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will end up feeling older much earlier because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s far more likely for people with neglected hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.
Prevent Continued Hearing Injury
The first thing you have to do is learn to avoid hearing loss.
- Put a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud things actually can be.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper ear protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing damage in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you’ve ever had trouble hearing briefly after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get more pronounced over time.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Observe workplace hearing protection rules.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones that have integrated volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen almost non-stop all day to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to walk.
Get a Hearing Test
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the smart choice the less damage you will continue to do.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is severe, it might be time to purchase a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Evaluation is the First Step
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids will make them appear old. Or maybe they believe they cost too much.
However when they recognize that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause numerous health and personal issues, it’s simple to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing test. 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!