As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects people of advanced age. You most likely had older people around you trying to understand words or using hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it fast drew near, when you discover more with regards to hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with aging and much more to do with something else.
Feeling old is the leading reason why many people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make a Difference What Your age is, you may Still Have Hearing Loss
By the age of 12, hearing specialists already begin to detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll recognize, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The challenge is not with aging. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is totally avoidable. Appreciably reducing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, identified medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently instigated by noise.
For a long time people have presumed that hearing loss was just part of aging. But thanks to today’s science we understand substantially more about hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
The initial step to safeguarding your ears is realizing how something as “harmless” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They move downward beyond your eardrum and 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. Your brain can translate this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a yell or anything else you might hear.
The trouble is that when noises get too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations get to be too strong for them to handle.
When these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible
If you cut your hand, the injury will heal. But when you injure these tiny hair cells, they cannot heal, and they never grow back. Each and every time you are exposed to loud noise, more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Common Noises Which Will Cause Hearing Damage
This is a surprising thing for most people to learn. It’s easy to discount:
- 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
- Playing music in a band
You don’t have to give up these activities. Fortunately, you can take positive steps to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” old
If you already suffer from hearing loss, accepting it does not have to cause you to feel older. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will wind up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s far more common for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Stop Further Hearing Problems
Start by learning exactly how to avoid hearing damage.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your smart-phone that can tell you how loud things actually are.
- Unsafe volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you’ve ever had trouble hearing briefly immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. Over time it will become worse.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Follow work hearing safety regulations.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which have integrated volume control. They never go higher 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen practically non-stop all the time to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications can make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to walk.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Specialist
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. You need to know so you can be proactive to lessen further damage.
Talk to Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they believe they are too expensive.
However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause various health and relationship difficulties, it’s simple to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much more streamlined and more advanced than you may think!