Growing up into adulthood, you probably began to connect hearing loss with aging. You likely had older adults around you trying to comprehend words or wearing hearing aids.
When you’re young, getting old seems so far away but as time goes by you start to realize that hearing loss is about a lot more than aging.
You need to understand this one thing: It doesn’t mean that you’re old just because you admit you have hearing loss.
Hearing Loss is an “Any Age Issue”
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”. In the past 30 years, hearing loss in teenagers has increased by 33 %.
What’s at work here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64 year-olds already suffer from disabling hearing loss.
It isn’t an aging issue. You can 100% avoid what is generally considered “age related hearing loss”. And you have the ability to significantly minimize its progression.
Age-associated hearing loss, scientifically known as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently caused by noise.
For generations hearing loss was thought to be inescapable as you age. But today, science understands more about how to safeguard your hearing and even repair it.
How Hearing Loss is Triggered by Noise
Understanding how noise results in hearing loss is the first step in safeguarding hearing.
Sound is composed of waves. These waves go into your ear canal. They arrive at your inner ear after going past your eardrum.
In your inner ear are very small hair cells which vibrate when sound impacts them. Which hair cells oscillate, and how quickly or frequently they vibrate, becomes a neurological code. Your brain then converts this code into sound.
But these hairs can move with too much intensity when the inner ear gets sound that is too loud. This level of sound damages these hairs and they will eventually stop working.
when they’re gone, you can’t hear.
Noise-Activated Hearing Loss is Irreversible, Here’s Why
If you cut yourself, the cut heals. But when you impair these tiny hair cells, they cannot heal, and they cannot grow back. Over time, as you subject your ears to loud sounds, more and more of these hairs perish.
Hearing loss gets worse as they do.
Hearing Damage Can be Caused by These Common Noises
Many people are surprised to discover that common activities can lead to hearing loss. These things may seem completely harmless:
- Putting the windows or top down on a busy highway
- Playing in a band
- Working in a factory or other loud profession
- Going to a movie/play/concert
- Lawn mowing
- Using head phones/earbuds
- Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
- Cranking up the car stereo
- Using farm equipment
You don’t need to give up these things. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to minimize noise-induced hearing loss.
How to be Certain That You Don’t “Feel” Older When You Have Hearing Loss
If you’re already suffering from loss of hearing, admitting it doesn’t have to make you feel old. The truth is, failing to acknowledge it can doom you to faster progression and complications that “will” make you feel much older in only a few years like:
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Increased Fall Risk
- Strained relationships
- Social Isolation
For people with neglected hearing loss these are a lot more common.
Reduce Further Hearing Injury
Learning how to avoid hearing loss is the starting point.
- Get a sound meter app on your phone. Determine how loud things really are.
- Learn about dangerous levels. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing loss in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. Immediate hearing loss takes place at 120dB or higher. 140 to 170 dB is the average volume of a gunshot.
- Realize 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 severe over time.
- Wear earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- When it comes to hearing protection, follow any safeguards that pertain to your situation.
- If you have to be exposed to loud noises, regulate your exposure time.
- Standing too close to loudspeakers is a poor idea in any setting.
- Some headphones and earbuds have on-board volume control for a less dangerous listening experience. They have a 90 dB upper limit. At that volume, even nonstop, all day listening wouldn’t cause hearing damage for the majority of people.
- Even at lower levels, if you have low blood oxygen, high blood pressure, or are taking some common medication, you’re hearing might still be in danger. To be safe, do not listen on headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Wear your hearing aid. The brain will begin to atrophy if you don’t wear your hearing aid when you need it. It works the same way as the muscles in your body. If you let them go, it will be hard to get them back.
Have a Hearing Examination
Are you procrastinating or in denial? Stop it. You have to accept your hearing loss so that you will be proactive to decrease further damage.
Consult With Your Hearing Specialist About Solutions For Your Hearing Loss.
Hearing impairment has no “natural cure”. If hearing loss is extreme, it may be time to invest in a hearing aid.
Do a Cost to Benefit Comparison of Investing in Hearing Aids
Many individuals are either in denial concerning hearing loss, or they decide to “just deal with”. They think hearing aids make them seem old. Or they think that they cost too much.
It’s easy to see, however, that when the harmful effect on relationships and health will cost more over time.
Talk to a hearing care specialist today about having a hearing test. And you don’t need to be concerned that you appear old if you wind up requiring hearing aids. Present day hearing aids are sophisticated and advanced pieces of modern technology.