Early in life, you most likely started to associate hearing loss with old age. You might have had older adults around you struggling to hear words or using hearing aids.
But just as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it rapidly drew near, when you discover more with regards to hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with aging and a lot more to do with something else.
Here is the one thing to know: recognizing that you have hearing loss will not make you old.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Dilemma”
Even in pre-teens, audiologists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. In the past 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teen hearing loss.
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 issue. What you might consider age-related hearing loss is actually absolutely avoidable. Substantially decreasing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical terminology for age-related hearing loss, is frequently brought on by loud noise.
For generations hearing loss was believed to be unavoidable when you get older. But thanks to cutting-edge science we understand a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The first step to safeguarding your ears is understanding how something as “innocent” as noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Going down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
In the inner ear little hairs vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can render this code into conversations, traffic sounds, a warning alert, a scream or whatever else you might hear.
But at the time the inner ear is subjected to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells shake too fast. They die because the vibrations get to be too strong for them to handle.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible
Countless types of damage can be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are lost forever. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, a few more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss advances.
Everyday Sounds That Can Cause Hearing Damage
Many people are shocked to learn that everyday activities might cause hearing loss. You may not question:
- 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
It’s not necessary to quit these activities. It is possible to minimize noise induced hearing damage by employing pro-active strategies.
How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” old
You can admit that you suffer from loss of hearing without having to feel old. In fact, failing to admit it can doom you to faster advancement and problems that will cause you to you feel a lot older in only a few short years including:
- 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 suffer from one or more of these.
How can you Avoid Further Hearing Damage?
Start by determining how to avoid hearing loss.
- Discover how loud things really are by getting a sound meter app on your smart-phone.
- Learn about hazardous volumes. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing damage in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above causes instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Recognize that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing briefly following a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get a lot more obvious over time.
- Use earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Respect workplace hearing safety procedures.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. These never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen nearly non-stop all day to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications can make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you actually 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.
Schedule an Appointment With a Hearing Expert
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise decision the less damage you will keep doing.
Speak to Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Answers
There are no “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If hearing loss is serious, it may be time to get a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Against the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they choose to “tough it out.” They think hearing aids will make them feel old. Or maybe they believe that they are too expensive.
However as soon as they realize that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause various health and relationship issues, it’s simple to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much sleeker and more sophisticated than you probably think!