As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects people of advanced age. You may have had older people around you trying to understand conversations or utilizing hearing aids.
As you grow up, you start to understand that there is a further factor regarding hearing loss aside from aging.
Feeling old is the biggest reason why many people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
You can Start to Lose Your Hearing Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, audiologists can already diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Clearly, somebody who is 12 is certainly not “old”. In the past 30 years we have seen a 33% rise in teen hearing loss.
What’s going on here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have debilitating hearing loss.
The problem is not with aging. What you might think of as age-related hearing loss is actually 100% avoidable. And you have the ability to drastically decrease the development of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical terminology for age-related hearing loss, is normally triggered by loud noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. But presently, hearing experts are more knowledgeable concerning exactly how to take care of your hearing and also restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
The initial step to safeguarding your hearing is recognizing how something as “innocent” as loud noise causes hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Here, little hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these little hairs vibrate. Your brain can translate this code into words, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a yell or anything else you may hear.
But at the time the inner ear is exposed to sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. The noise shakes them to death.
If you don’t have them, you can not hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible
Many types of injury will be healed by your body. But when you harm these little hair cells, they cannot heal, and they never ever come back again. The more you’re subjected to loud noises, the more of these tiny cells you lose.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Hearing Injury is Caused by Everyday Noises
Most people are shocked to find out that routine activities can be the cause of hearing loss. You may not question:
- 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 factory or other loud industry
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to lessen noise induced hearing damage by taking pro-active measures.
How to Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Like Your old
You can accept that you suffer from hearing loss without having to feel older. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will wind up feeling older much sooner because of:
- 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.
How can you Prevent Continued Hearing Damage?
Start by determining exactly how to avoid hearing loss.
- Find out how noisy everyday sounds truly are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Damaging volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you have ever had difficulty hearing for a short time following a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Comply with workplace hearing safety restrictions.
- Minimize your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. They don’t go over 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen almost non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and a few medications tend to cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, don’t ever listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to walk.
Schedule an Appointment With a Hearing Specialist
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise choice the less injury you will keep doing.
Talk to Your Hearing Specialist About Hearing Solutions
There are no “natural cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is serious, it may be time to buy a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Assessment is the First Step
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they choose to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they believe they are too expensive.
But when they recognize that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause numerous health and personal difficulties, it’s simple to be certain that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist now 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 advanced than you may think!