Growing up into adulthood, you most likely began to connect hearing loss with getting old. Most of us have had experience with older people struggling to understand words and phrases, or using hearing aids.
As you become more mature, you begin to find out that there is a further factor regarding hearing loss aside from aging.
Feeling old is the main reason people won’t admit they have hearing loss.
You can Begin Loosing Your Hearing Even When Your Younger
Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists can already diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teen hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds presently have debilitating hearing loss.
The problem is not with aging. It’s totally possible to stop, even though most people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to appreciably reduce the development of your hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, referred to medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most typically triggered by loud noise.
For generations hearing loss was considered to be inescapable as you get older. But thanks to innovative science we understand a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.
How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise
You should appreciate that noise is not harmless if you desire to begin to protect your ears.
Sound is made up of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go past your eardrum and into the inner ear.
Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear 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 birds singing, someone shouting for help, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be near you.
The issue is that as noises become too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The noise vibrates them until they die.
If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is Permanent
Countless kinds of injury will be healed by your body. But when you injure these little hair cells, they won’t heal, and they never ever grow back again. The more often you’re subjected to loud noises, the more little cells you lose.
Hearing loss progresses as they die.
Hearing Damage is Caused by Everyday Noises
Many people are shocked to discover that everyday activities may 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 manufacturing plant or other loud industry
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be abandoned. It is possible to minimize noise induced hearing damage by employing pro-active steps.
How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” old
You can acknowledge that you suffer from hearing loss without having to feel older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it’s going to 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 significantly more common for people with untreated hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.
Prevent Further Hearing Problems
The first step is to learn to prevent hearing loss.
- Sound meter apps are available for your cellphone that can show you how loud things really are.
- Dangerous volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause permanent hearing damage in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher results in 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. Over time it will get worse.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Comply with workplace hearing safety rules.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Purchase earbuds/headphones which have integrated volume control. These never go higher 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen pretty much non-stop all day to do irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when 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.
Get a Hearing Test
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Stop it. You need to know so you can become proactive to minimize further damage.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Answers
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing damage. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
A Cost-Benefits Analysis is the First Step
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids will make them appear old. Or they believe they are too expensive.
But as soon as they recognize that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause numerous health and personal problems, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care specialist now about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you probably think!