Early in life, you likely began to connect hearing loss with old age. Many of us have had past experiences with older people trying to make out conversations, or wearing hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it swiftly approached, when you learn more concerning hearing loss, you find that it has less to do with old age and a lot more to do with something else entirely.
Here is the most important thing to know: accepting that you have hearing loss doesn’t make you old.
You can Start to Lose Your Hearing at any age
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Clearly, somebody who is 12 years old is not “old”. In the past 30 years we have seen a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% presently suffer from disabling hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
It’s not an aging problem. What you might consider age-related hearing loss is actually totally avoidable. Significantly minimizing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently brought on by noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. However thanks to innovative science we understand substantially more about hearing loss prevention and also hearing restoration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
You need to appreciate that loud noise is not harmless if you desire to start to safeguard your hearing.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves travel into your ear canal. They move all the way down beyond your eardrum into your inner ear.
Here, little hair cells in your inner ear resonate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how fast or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can render this code into words, rushing water, a car horn, a yell or whatever else you might hear.
The problem is that when noises are too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The noise vibrates them to death.
If these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Permanent
Various kinds of damage can be healed by your body. These little cells never heal. When they are gone, they are lost permanently. Every time you are subjected to loud sound, a few more of these cells die.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Hearing Damage can be Caused by Common Noises
Most people are shocked to find out that everyday activities may cause hearing loss. 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
- Being a musician
These activities don’t need to be given up. Fortunately, you can take positive measures to minimize noise-induced hearing loss.
Don’t Permit Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
You can admit that you’re suffering from hearing loss without feeling older. Actually, failing to acknowledge it can guarantee faster development and problems that will definitely cause you to you feel a lot older in only a few years like:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s much more common for people with neglected hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.
Further Hearing Loss can be Avoided
The first step is to learn to protect against hearing loss.
- Put a sound meter app on your cell phone, and find out how loud things really are.
- Dangerous volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher causes immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you have ever had difficulty hearing temporarily following a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will become a lot more pronounced as time goes by.
- Put on earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Adhere to work hearing safety rules.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when listening at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. These never go over 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen almost non-stop all the time to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and various medications tend to make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- 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 gets much more difficult to walk.
Make a Hearing Exam
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. You need to know so you can be proactive to minimize further damage.
Talk to Your Hearing Specialist About Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is extreme, it might be time to purchase a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Assessment is the First Step
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids will make them appear old. Or they believe they are too expensive.
But as soon as they realize that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause several health and relationship issues, it’s simple to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!