Here’s Something You Should Know About Hearing Loss

Woman not letting hearing loss and use of hearing aids stop her from feeling young and playing with her grandkids.

When you were younger, you probably thought of hearing loss as a consequence of aging. Older adults around you were probably wearing hearing aids or having a difficult time hearing.

When you’re young, getting old seems so distant but as time goes by you begin to realize that hearing loss is about far more than aging.

You need to realize this one thing: Admitting that you have hearing loss doesn’t make you old.

Hearing Loss is an Ailment That Can Take Place at Any Age

In 13% of cases, audiologists can already see hearing loss by the age of 12. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teen hearing loss has gone up 33% in the last 30 years.

What’s the reason for this?

2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64 year-olds already suffer from disabling hearing loss.

Aging isn’t the issue. What you may think of as age-related hearing loss is 100% avoidable. And you have the ability to dramatically decrease its progression.

Noise exposure is the most prevalent cause of age associated or “sensorineural” hearing loss.

For decades hearing loss was assumed to be unavoidable as you get older. But safeguarding and even restoring your hearing is well within the grasp of modern science.

How Noise Causes Hearing Loss

Learning how noise results in hearing loss is step one in protecting hearing.

Sound is composed of waves. Your ear canal receives these waves. They move down past your eardrum into your inner ear.

Here, small hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. The speed and intensity of these vibrations will then encode a mental signal. Your brain is able to translate this code into words, rushing water, a car horn, a cry or anything else you might hear.

But when the inner ear receives sounds that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. The sound shakes them to death.

when they’re gone, you can’t hear.

Noise-Activated Hearing Loss is Permanent, Here’s Why

If you cut yourself, the cut heals. But these tiny hair cells won’t heal or grow back. Over time, as you expose your ears to loud noise, more and more of these hairs perish.

As they do, hearing loss worsens.

Hearing Damage Can be Caused by These every day Noises

Most people don’t recognize that hearing loss can be caused by every day noises. You might not think twice about:

  • Hunting
  • Working in a factory or other loud profession
  • Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
  • Being a musician
  • Wearing earbuds/head phones
  • Going to a movie/play/concert
  • Using farm equipment
  • Turning the car stereo way up
  • Driving on a busy highway with the windows or top down
  • Lawn mowing

You don’t have to give up these things. Luckily, you can reduce noise induced hearing loss by taking some preventative measures.

How to Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Old

If you’re already suffering from loss of hearing, acknowledging it doesn’t need to make you feel old. Actually, you will feel older much sooner if you fail to recognize your hearing loss due to complications like:

  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Social Isolation
  • Increased Fall Risk
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • More frequent trips to the ER
  • Strained relationships

For individuals with untreated hearing loss these are substantially more prevalent.

Prevent Further Hearing Injury

Begin by knowing how to prevent hearing loss.

  1. So that you can figure out how loud things really are, download a sound meter app.
  2. Learn when volumes get hazardous. Over 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. Instant hearing loss occurs at 120dB or higher. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
  3. Understand that you’ve already triggered permanent hearing damage each time you’ve had a hard time hearing right after going to a concert. It will become more pronounced over time.
  4. When it’s needed, wear earplugs or earmuffs.
  5. When dealing with hearing protection, adhere to any safeguards that apply to your situation.
  6. If you need to be exposed to loud sounds, limit the exposure time.
  7. Standing too close to loudspeakers is a bad idea in any setting.
  8. Some headphones and earbuds have on-board volume control for a safer listening experience. They have a 90 dB limit. At that level, even constant, all day listening wouldn’t cause hearing damage for the majority of people.
  9. Even at lower volumes, if you are taking some common medications, have high blood pressure, or have low blood oxygen, you’re hearing may still be in danger. To be safe, you should never listen on headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
  10. If you have a hearing aid, use it. The brain will start to atrophy if you don’t wear your hearing aid when you need it. It’s a lot like your leg muscles. If you let them go, it will be tough to get them back.

Get a Hearing Exam

Are you in denial or just procrastinating? Don’t do it. You need to acknowledge your hearing loss so that you will be proactive to decrease further harm.

Consult Your Hearing Specialist About Solutions For Your Hearing.

There aren’t any “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If hearing loss is severe, it could be time to invest in a hearing aid.

Do a Comparison of The Cost of Getting Hearing Aids to The Benefits

Many individuals who do acknowledge their hearing loss simply choose to cope with it. They don’t want people to think they are old because they wear hearing aids. Or they are concerned that they won’t be able to afford them.

It’s easy to see, however, that when the adverse effect on health and relationships will cost more over time.

Speak with a hearing care professional right away about getting a hearing test. And you don’t have to be concerned that you look old if you end up needing hearing aids. Hearing aids nowadays are significantly sleeker and more advanced than you may believe!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.