The One Thing You Should be Aware of Concerning the Loss of Hearing
As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects the older generation. The majority of us have had past experiences with older people trying to comprehend conversations, or using hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it rapidly drew near, as you learn more about hearing loss, you come to understand that it has less to do with growing old and a lot more to do with something else entirely.
Many people are afraid to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.
You can Start to Lose Your Ability to Hear at any age
By the age of 12, audiologists already begin to identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. In the past 3 decades there has been a 33% rise in teen 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 problem is not with aging. What you might think of as age-related hearing loss is absolutely avoidable. Significantly lessening your hearing loss is very achievable.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical terminology for age-related hearing loss, is frequently brought on by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was believed to be inescapable when you age. But nowadays, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You need to recognize that noise is not harmless if you really want to start to safeguard your hearing.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. 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 vibrate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these tiny hairs vibrate. Your brain can interpret this code into crowd noise, rushing water, a warning alert, a yell or whatever else you may hear.
The problem is that as noises become too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. The sound vibrates them until they die.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Permanent
If you cut your body, the wound will heal. But when you injure these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they cannot grow back again. The more frequently you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more little cells you lose.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
There are Sounds That are Common Which Will Cause Hearing Damage
Most people are shocked to discover that everyday activities might be the cause of hearing loss. It’s very easy to discount:
- 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 profession
- Being a musician
You don’t have to quit these activities. Luckily, you can take proactive steps to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
How to Stop Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Older
You can acknowledge that you suffer from hearing loss without feeling old. In fact, failing to acknowledge it can doom you to faster progression and complications that will make you feel a lot older in only a few years like:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all considerably more prevalent in people with untreated hearing loss.
Avoid Further Hearing Damage
The first thing you have to do is learn to prevent hearing loss.
- Sound meter apps are available for your phone that can show you how loud things are.
- Hazardous volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in immediate 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 and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Observe workplace hearing protection restrictions.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
- Buy earbuds/headphones that have built-in volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen practically non-stop all day to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and some medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s much like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to start walking again.
Schedule an Appointment With a Hearing Expert
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice now rather than later. You need to be aware so that you can be proactive to minimize further damage.
Speak to Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are no “natural cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is extreme, it might be time to purchase a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Against the Benefits of Buying Hearing Aids
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them appear old. Or perhaps they believe they cost too much.
But when they realize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause numerous health and personal difficulties, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!