As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects the older generation. Almost all of us have experience with older people struggling to hear conversations, or using hearing aids.
But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it fast approached, when you learn more concerning hearing loss, you come to understand that it has less to do with aging and far more to do with something else entirely.
A lot of people are reluctant to admit they have hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.
You can Begin to Lose Your Hearing Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Needless to say, a person who is 12 is certainly not “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 30 years.
What are the key factors involved?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds currently have disabling hearing loss.
It’s not an aging problem. It’s totally possible to avoid, although most people might think of it as an aging problem. Appreciably minimizing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical terminology for age-related hearing loss, is frequently caused by loud noise.
For a long time people have thought that hearing loss was always part of the aging process. However thanks to cutting-edge science we understand a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and even hearing restoration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
You should recognize that loud noise is not harmless if you wish to start to protect your ears.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel downward beyond your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Within the inner ear little hairs vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how fast or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of traffic, someone crying for help, a waterfall, or any other sound which may be around you.
The problem is at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. They die because the vibrations are too loud for them to handle.
When these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible
Many types of injury will be healed by your body. But when you damage these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they will not ever grow back. Each and every time you are subjected to loud noise, more of these cells die.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Common Noises Which Cause Hearing Damage
Most people are surprised to discover that everyday activities might 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 factory or other loud industry
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to lessen noise associated hearing loss by employing pro-active measures.
Don’t Permit Hearing Loss Make you Feel old
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, acknowledging it doesn’t have to cause you to feel older. The longer you neglect 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
It’s considerably more common for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Continued Hearing Loss can be Avoided
The first step is to learn to counter hearing loss.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your cellphone that can tell you how loud things are.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause instant 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. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Wear earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Adhere to workplace hearing protection procedures.
- Minimize your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Avoid standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen pretty much non-stop all the time to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications tend to cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be sure, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to start walking again.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Stop it. The faster you make the wise decision the less injury you will continue to do.
Have a talk with Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are no “normal cures” for hearing loss. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they decide to “tough it out.” They feel that hearing aids will make them appear old. Or perhaps they believe they cost too much.
But as soon as they understand that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause many health and personal difficulties, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Call 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 sleeker and more advanced than you may think!