As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on people of advanced age. Many of us have experience with older people trying to comprehend words and phrases, or using hearing aids.
But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it quickly approached, as you learn more about hearing loss, you find that it has much less to do with getting old and a lot more to do with something else entirely.
Feeling old is the leading reason why people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make Any Difference What Your age is, you Might Still get Hearing Loss
By the age of 12, audiologists already begin to diagnose some 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’s going on 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. It’s 100% possible to prevent, although most people might think of it as an aging problem. And you have the ability to considerably lessen the development of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is normally brought on by loud noise.
For a long time people have believed that hearing loss was always part of getting old. But in the present day, we are more knowledgeable about exactly how to protect your hearing and even restore it.
How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You should realize that loud noise is not harmless if you wish to begin to safeguard your ears.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go past your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Tiny hair cells vibrate here in the inner ear. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how regularly these little hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone yelling for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be around you.
But when the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells shake too rapidly. They die because the vibrations are too loud for them to deal with.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Noise is not Reversible
If you cut yourself, the wound heals. But when you damage these tiny hair cells, they won’t heal, and they never grow back. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, a few more of these cells are lost for ever.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
There are Noises That are Common Which Will Cause Hearing Loss
This is a surprising fact for most people to find out. It’s very easy to discount:
- 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 factory or other loud industry
- Being a musician
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to reduce noise associated hearing loss by taking pro-active measures.
You Don’t Need to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can admit that you’re suffering from hearing problems without feeling old. In reality, failing to acknowledge it can doom you to faster advancement and difficulties that will definitely cause you to you feel much older in only a few short years like:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s far more common for people with neglected hearing loss to suffer from one or more of these.
How can you Prevent Further Hearing Damage?
Start by learning how to prevent hearing damage.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your cellphone which can show you how loud things actually are.
- Learn about damaging volumes. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing temporarily after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Follow work hearing safety procedures.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones that have integrated volume control. These never go higher 90 decibels. You would need to listen practically non-stop all day to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s a lot like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to walk.
Schedule a Hearing Exam
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise choice the less injury you will continue to do.
Consult Your Hearing Professional Regarding Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is serious, it might be time to get a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.
But when they understand that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause numerous health and personal complications, it’s easy to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you may think!