Early in life, you likely began to associate hearing loss with old age. You most likely had older adults around you trying to make out words or wearing hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it swiftly drew near, when you discover more regarding hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with old age and far more to do with something else entirely.
Feeling old is the leading reason people can’t admit they have hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make A Difference What Your age is, you Might Still get Hearing Loss
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll agree, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teenage hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 3 decades.
What’s at work here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have disabling hearing loss.
The difficulty is not with getting old. It’s 100% possible to stop, although many people might think of it as an aging problem. And you have the ability to dramatically reduce the progression of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically instigated by loud noise.
For a long time people have believed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. However thanks to cutting-edge science we know a great deal more concerning hearing loss prevention and even hearing restoration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The first step to protecting your ears is learning how something as “harmless” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves travel into your ear canal. They move all the way down through your eardrum into your inner ear.
Tiny hair cells resonate here in the inner ear. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of birds singing, someone yelling for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be around.
The problem is at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. They die because the vibrations become too strong for them to deal with.
Without them, you can’t hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Sound is Permanent
If you cut your body, the injury will heal. But when you injure these tiny hair cells, they don’t heal, and they will not grow back again. The more frequently you’re subjected to loud noises, the more of these tiny hair cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Common Noises Which Cause Hearing Damage
Many people are surprised to learn that everyday activities can be the cause of hearing loss. It’s very 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 manufacturing plant or other loud profession
- Being a musician
It’s not necessary to quit these activities. It is possible to minimize noise related hearing loss by taking pro-active steps.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
If you already suffer from hearing loss, recognizing it doesn’t need to cause you to 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
These are all significantly more common in people with untreated hearing loss.
Avoid Continued Hearing Problems
The first thing you have to do is learn to avoid hearing loss.
- Put a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud things truly are.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing damage 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 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that you have already caused hearing damage if you have had a hard time hearing, or if your ears were ringing, after a concert. Over time it will become worse.
- Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Comply with workplace hearing protection procedures.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. They don’t go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen practically non-stop all day to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and various medications tend to make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s a lot like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to start walking again.
Call a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Exam
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Stop it. The faster you make the wise decision the less damage you will keep doing.
Talk to Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing loss. If you have extreme hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Investing In Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them appear old. Or they believe they are too expensive.
However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause various health and relationship complications, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Talk to a hearing care professional 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 advanced than you probably think!