When you were younger, you most likely considered hearing loss a consequence of aging. You probably had older adults around you trying to understand words or wearing hearing aids.
But in the same way as 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it fast approached, as you become more aware about hearing loss, you find it has less to do with getting old and much more to do with something else.
This is the one thing you should understand: It doesn’t make you old just because you admit you have hearing loss.
Hearing Loss is an “Any Age Problem”
In 13% of cases, audiologists can already detect hearing loss by age 12. You’ll agree, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Teenage hearing loss has increased 33% in the past 30 years.
What’s the reason for this?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64 year-olds already suffer from debilitating hearing loss.
Aging isn’t the issue. You can 100% prevent what is typically considered “age related hearing loss”. And you have the ability to dramatically minimize its development.
Age-associated hearing loss, known medically sensorineural hearing loss, is usually a result of noise.
Hearing loss was, for decades, assumed to be an inescapable part of aging. But protecting and even repairing your hearing is well within the scope of modern science.
How Noise Leads to Hearing Loss
Recognizing how noise causes hearing loss is step one in safeguarding hearing.
Sound is composed of waves. The canal of your ear receives these waves. They arrive at your inner ear after going past your eardrum.
In your inner ear are tiny hair cells that vibrate when sound impacts them. What hair cells vibrate, and how quickly or frequently they vibrate, becomes a neurological code. Your brain can convert this code into words, rushing water, a car horn, a cry or whatever else you may hear.
But these hairs can vibrate with too much intensity when the inner ear gets sound that is too loud. The sound vibrates them to death.
When these hairs die you won’t be able to hear.
Noise-Activated Hearing Loss is Irreversible, Here’s Why
Wounds such as cuts or broken bones will heal. But when you impair these tiny hair cells, they don’t heal, and they never grow back. Over time, as you subject your ears to loud noise, more and more of these hairs fail.
Hearing loss worsens as they do.
every day Noises That Damage Hearing
Many people are surprised to find out that daily activities can result in hearing loss. You might not think twice about:
- attending a movie/play/concert
- Cranking up the car stereo
- Going to a noisy workplace
- Playing in a band
- Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
- Lawn mowing
- Putting the windows or top down on a busy highway
- Using farm equipment
- Wearing head phones/earbuds
You don’t need to give up these activities. Thankfully, you can take proactive measures to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
How to Stop Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Older
If you’re already suffering from loss of hearing, acknowledging it doesn’t have to make you feel older. Actually, you will feel older a lot sooner if you fail to acknowledge your hearing loss because of complications like:
- Strained relationships
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Increased Fall Risk
These are all considerably more prevalent in individuals with untreated hearing loss.
Prevent Further Hearing Damage
Get started by understanding how to prevent hearing loss.
- So that you can find out how loud things really are, download a sound meter app.
- Learn about harmful levels. Over 85 dB (decibels) can lead to permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. Permanent hearing loss, at 110 dB, occurs in over 15 minutes. 120 dB and over causes instant hearing loss. 140 to 170 dB is the average volume of a gunshot.
- Know that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing for a while after a concert, you’ve already induced permanent damage to your hearing. It will become more pronounced as time passes.
- When it’s necessary, use earplugs or earmuffs.
- When dealing with hearing protection, follow any safeguards that apply to your circumstance.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud noises.
- Steer clear of standing near loudspeakers or cranking up speakers at home.
- Some headphones and earbuds have on-board volume control for a safer listening experience. They have a 90 dB limit. At that level, even nonstop, all day listening wouldn’t cause hearing damage for most people.
- Some medications, low blood oxygen, and even high blood pressure can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, do not listen on headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. The brain will start to atrophy if you don’t use your hearing aid when you need it. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop utilizing them, it will be difficult to begin again.
Make an Appointment to Have a Hearing Test
Are you procrastinating or in denial? Stop it. You have to acknowledge your hearing loss so that you can be proactive to minimize further harm.
Talk to Your Hearing Specialist About Hearing Loss Solutions
Hearing loss has no “natural cure”. It might be time to invest in a hearing aid if your hearing loss is extreme.
Do a Comparison of The Cost of Investing in Hearing Aids to The Advantages
Many people who do acknowledge their hearing loss simply decide to deal with it. They don’t want people to think they look old because they have hearing aids. Or they think they cost too much.
But when they comprehend that hearing loss will worsen faster and can cause numerous relationship and health challenges, it’s easy to see that the pros well surpass the cons.
Schedule a hearing test with a hearing professional. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t worry about “feeling old”. Todays hearing aids are stylish and advanced pieces of modern technology.