Growing up into adulthood, you probably began to connect hearing loss with getting old. You may have had older adults around you trying to hear conversations or wearing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to discover that there is a further cause of hearing loss aside from aging.
A lot of people are frightened to admit they have hearing loss because it causes them to feel like they are getting old.
You can Start to Lose Your Hearing Even When Your Younger
By the age of 12, audiologists can already diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 30 years.
What are the key factors involved?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have disabling hearing loss.
The issue is not with getting old. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is actually totally avoidable. And you have the ability to substantially reduce the progression of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is frequently brought on by loud noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was just part of the aging process. But today, we know more about exactly how to take care of your hearing and also restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The initial step to safeguarding your hearing is realizing how something as “harmless” as noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel downward beyond your eardrum into your inner ear.
Tiny hair cells vibrate here inside of the inner ear. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these tiny little hairs vibrate. Your brain can turn this code into the sound of peoples voices, rushing water, a car horn, a yell or anything else you might hear.
The problem is that as noises get too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. They die because the vibrations are too strong for them to handle.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Irreversible
If you cut your body, the wound heals. But when you injure these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they will not ever grow back again. Each and every time you are exposed to loud sound, more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Hearing Damage is Caused by Common Sounds
This is a shocking thing for most people to find out. It’s 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 give up these activities. It is possible to minimize noise associated hearing loss by taking pro-active strategies.
Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can acknowledge that you’re suffering from hearing problems without feeling older. In fact, failing to accept it can doom you to faster progression and problems that will make you feel a lot older in only a few short years like:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s significantly more common for people with untreated hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.
How can you Stop Continued Hearing Damage?
Begin by understanding how to avoid hearing damage.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your cellphone which can tell you how loud things are.
- Unsafe volumes should be avoided without the correct ear protection. Over 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 will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Recognize that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing briefly after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will become worse.
- Wear earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Comply with work hearing safety rules.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing near to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen pretty much non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications tend to make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s much like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to start walking again.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Make the right decision sooner than later. The sooner you make the smart decision the less damage you will continue to do.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Answers
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Evaluation is the First Step
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or maybe they think they cost too much.
However when they recognize that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause many health and personal issues, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker and more advanced than you probably think!