Early in life, you most likely began to connect hearing loss with growing old. You probably had older adults around you struggling to make out words or utilizing hearing aids.
As you become more mature, you begin to learn that there is a further factor regarding hearing loss aside from aging.
Feeling old is the main reason people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
You can Begin to Lose Your Ability to Hear Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, audiologists can already detect some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Obviously, a person who is 12 is not really “old”. Teenage hearing loss has gone up 33% within the last 3 decades.
What are the key factors involved?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds currently have debilitating hearing loss.
The problem is not with aging. What you might think of as age-related hearing loss is 100% preventable. Significantly lessening your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, identified medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly instigated by loud noise.
For ages hearing loss was thought to be inevitable as you get older. But presently, scientists know more concerning exactly how to safeguard your hearing and even restore it.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
Step one to taking care of your ears is recognizing how something as “harmless” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. These waves travel into your ear canal. They move all the way down beyond your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Here, little hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these tiny hairs vibrate. Your brain can turn this code into conversations, the sound of wind, a car horn, a cry for help or whatever else you might hear.
The problem is that when noises are too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. They die because the vibrations become too loud for them to handle.
Without them, you can not hear.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent
Various types of injury can be healed by your body. These little cells never heal. When they die, they are gone forever. Every time you are subjected to loud noise, more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Common Sounds Which Will Cause Hearing Damage
Most people are surprised to find out that routine activities can be the cause of hearing loss. It’s easy to discount:
- 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 manufacturing plant or other loud industry
- Being a musician
It’s not necessary to give up these activities. Thankfully, you can take positive steps to minimize noise-related hearing loss.
How you can Stop Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Like Your old
You can admit that you suffer from hearing problems without feeling old. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will end up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s much more likely for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Stop Further Hearing Injury
Understanding how to stop hearing loss is the first thing you should do.
- Determine how loud everyday sounds truly are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing damage in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in 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. As time goes by it will get worse.
- Use 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 near to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones that come with integrated volume control. These never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen pretty much non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and a few medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Use your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to start walking again.
Schedule a Hearing Exam
Are you in denial or putting off on it? Stop it. The sooner you make the smart choice the less damage you will keep doing.
Consult Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is serious, it may be time to purchase a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Assessment of Hearing Aids
Many sufferers 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 that they cost too much.
But when they understand that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause numerous health and relationship problems, it’s easy to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much more streamlined and more advanced than you may think!