Growing up, you probably started to connect hearing loss with old age. You may have had older adults around you trying to hear words or utilizing hearing aids.
As you grow up, you begin to understand that there is a further factor regarding hearing loss besides aging.
Feeling old is the biggest reason people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Problem”
Even before we turn 13, audiologists already begin to diagnose some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Certainly, somebody who is 12 years old is not really “old”. In the past 30 years we have seen a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% presently 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 actually absolutely avoidable. And you have the ability to appreciably lessen the development of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is frequently induced by by loud noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was always part of aging. However thanks to innovative science we understand substantially more about hearing loss prevention and even hearing restoration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The initial step to taking care of your hearing is learning how something as “innocent” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go past your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Here, little tiny hair cells in your inner ear resonate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how regularly these little hairs vibrate. Your brain can render this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a car horn, a cry or anything else you may hear.
The problem is when the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too rapidly. They die because the vibrations are too strong for them to handle.
When these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Permanent
Lots of kinds of damage can be healed by your body. But when you damage these little hair cells, they won’t heal, and they will not grow back again. The more you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more of these tiny cells you lose.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Hearing Injury is Caused by Common Noises
This is a shocking fact for most people to learn. You may not think twice about:
- 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 profession
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be given up. It is possible to minimize noise related hearing damage by taking pro-active measures.
How you can Stop Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Like Your old
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, accepting it doesn’t need to make you feel older. 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
For people with untreated hearing loss, these are considerably more common.
Continued Hearing Loss can be Prevented
Begin by learning how to avoid hearing damage.
- Get a sound meter app on your smart-phone, and find out how loud common sounds really can be.
- Learn about hazardous volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above causes immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Know that If you have ever had difficulty hearing briefly immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will become worse.
- Put on earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Respect work hearing protection guidelines.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing near to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which have built-in volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. You would have to listen nearly non-stop all day to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications tend to make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to walk.
Schedule a Hearing Appointment
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Make the right decision sooner than later. You need to know so that you can become proactive to lessen further damage.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Comparison of Hearing Aids
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they think they cost too much.
But as soon as they understand that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause various health and relationship complications, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker and more advanced than you probably think!