Seems as if we’re constantly trying to stay youthful. From gym memberships to Botox to wrinkle cream to special diets, we spend countless hours each day doing everything we can to slow down the aging process. Still, with all that time and effort, we commonly avoid doing one simple thing that might actually work: using ear protection.
Hearing impairment is often one of those “signs of aging” that we often consider to be inevitable. But it’s not as simple as that. By safeguarding your ears (and treating them with some kindness along the way), you can help prevent damage and keep your hearing in great shape. And as the years go on, great hearing can have considerable anti-aging advantages.
Hearing And Aging
The actual passage of time is not usually what we are referring to when we talk about aging. Instead, certain emotional, mental, and physical changes are indications that somebody is getting older. Pain in your joints is a great example of this. When your knees begin to hurt, you might associate that with “getting old”. But it’s not age by itself that leads to the problem (your everyday 5-mile run may have something to do with it, too).
Many types of hearing loss fall into this category. As you get older, damage builds up. The build-up of damage, in most instances, is the real cause of hearing deterioration. And it’s typically downhill from there. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to several other signs of aging:
- In some cases, problems such as insomnia and loss of memory, can be initiated by the cognitive strain of attempting to hear. And, in a particularly profound way, that can make you feel like you are aging.
- When hearing problems are undetected and untreated they can often hasten the onset of other mental health problems, including dementia.
- Research has shown a strong link between untreated hearing loss, anxiety, and depression.
- Untreated hearing loss might cause you to self-isolate from friends or family.
So How do I Fight Age-Related Hearing Loss?
When you fight the “signs of aging” in your ears, you’re really placing a focus on controlling damage. And fortunately, there are a few ways to accomplish that. Here are a few things you can do:
- Become more aware. You can still have damage to your hearing even if sounds aren’t painfully loud. Moderate sound for longer periods of time can cause damage to your ears, too.
- Avoid loud noises as much as you can. And when you can’t stay away from high volume areas, wear hearing protection. So when you go see that concert with your favorite band, be certain to use earplugs.
- If you happen to work in a relatively noisy setting, wear ear protection. With modern quality ear muffs, loud sounds are eliminated while you can still hear people talking clearly.
All of these strategies will help protect your hearing. But if you want to keep your hearing in good condition you can do one more thing: contact us for a hearing exam. Catching hearing loss before you even notice it can be accomplished by getting regular tests. Even if your hearing is perfectly fine, a screening will still be capable of providing a useful baseline to compare against future results.
Wear Hearing Aids to Keep Your Ears Healthy
The world we live in can be loud. Your ability to avoid damage is crucial, but you may ultimately detect some hearing loss despite your best efforts. You need to seek out help right away if you do detect any symptoms of hearing loss. A good set of hearing aids can help lessen some of the so-called age-related issues related to hearing impairments.
Hearing aids can assist your hearing to function more youthfully, kind of like a facelift for your ears. And that can help keep depression, dementia, and other issues from increasing. The analogy isn’t ideal, as hearing aids are necessary and a facelift isn’t, but you get the idea. You might look younger if you use wrinkle cream. But if you really want to battle aging and feel somewhat more youthful, your best choice is to safeguard your hearing and take care of your hearing loss.