As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on older people. Many of us have had experience with older people struggling to make out words and phrases, or utilizing hearing aids.
But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it fast drew near, as you learn more about hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with old age and a lot more to do with something else entirely.
Most people are afraid to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it causes them to feel old.
You can Start to Lose Your Hearing at any age
By the age of 12, hearing specialists can already detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Obviously, somebody who is 12 years old is certainly not “old”. Teenage hearing loss has gone up 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 issue. It’s totally possible to stop, even though most people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to significantly reduce the development of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently brought on by noise.
For a long time people have believed that hearing loss was always part of the aging process. But presently, we know more about exactly how to protect your hearing and also restore it.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
The first step to taking care of your hearing is understanding how something as “harmless” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel down past your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Within the inner ear little hairs resonate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how regularly these little tiny hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of birds singing, someone crying for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be around you.
The trouble is that when sounds are too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. The noise vibrates them until they die.
If these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Sound is not Reversible
If you cut your hand, the injury will heal. These little cells do not heal. When they are gone, they are gone forever. The more you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more tiny cells die.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Common Noises Which Cause Hearing Injury
This is a unexpected thing for most people to find out. It’s easy to overlook:
- 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 given up. It is possible to lessen noise associated hearing loss by taking pro-active strategies.
How to Stop Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Older
You can acknowledge that you suffer from hearing problems without having to feel older. As a matter of fact, failing to acknowledge it can doom you to faster progression and problems that will cause you to you feel much older in just a few short years including:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s a lot more likely for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?
The first thing you have to do is learn how to to prevent hearing loss.
- Discover how loud things truly are by getting a sound meter app on your cell phone.
- Learn about dangerous volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in just 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 around 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you have ever had difficulty hearing for a short time immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get more pronounced over time.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Adhere to work hearing protection rules.
- Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when at home.
- Buy earbuds/headphones that have integrated volume control. These never go higher 90 decibels. Most people would have to listen practically non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications tend to make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to walk.
Contact a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Exam
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Make the right decision now rather than later. The sooner you make the smart decision the less injury you will continue to do.
Have a talk with Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Answers
There are not any “natural cures” for hearing damage. If you have extreme hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hearing Aids
Many people are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they decide to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids will make them feel old. Or maybe they believe that they cost too much.
However when they realize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause several health and relationship problems, it’s easy to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!