Seems as if we’re constantly trying to stay youthful. We spend countless hours undertaking everything possible to stay youthful. From specialized diets to fad workout programs to Botox to wrinkle creams. And yet, even with all that energy (and all that time), the one thing that may actually work, we tend to avoid: wearing ear protection.
The majority of people probably think of hearing loss as inevitable as we get older. But it’s not that simple. By safeguarding your ears (and treating them with a bit of kindness on the way), you can help avoid harm and keep your hearing in great shape. And great hearing can have considerable anti-aging benefits as the years go on.
Hearing And Aging
The actual passage of time is not normally what we are describing when we speak of aging. Rather, “aging” typically refers to the presentation of certain emotional, mental, or physical characteristics that we link to getting older. A great example of this is joint pain. When your knees begin to hurt, you may relate that with “growing old”. But it’s not age alone that leads to the problem (your daily 5-mile run could have something to do with it, also).
Many types of hearing loss fall into this category. As you age, damage accumulates. And in most cases, it’s the accumulation of damage that causes the actual hearing degeneration. And it’s typically downhill from there. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to several other signs of aging:
- Research has shown a robust link between neglected hearing loss, depression, and anxiety.
- Self isolation from friends and family can be the consequence of neglected hearing loss.
- In some cases, issues such as insomnia and memory loss, can be triggered by the cognitive strain of attempting to hear. And, in a particularly profound way, that can make you feel like you are aging.
- When hearing impairments are unnoticed and neglected they can sometimes accelerate the onset of other mental health issues, including dementia.
So How do I Combat Age-Related Hearing Loss?
When you fight the “signs of aging” in your ears, you’re really placing an emphasis on controlling damage. And fortunately, there are a number of ways to accomplish that. For example, you can:
- Become more aware. You can still suffer harm to your hearing even if sounds are not painfully loud. Your hearing can also be damaged by moderate noise if you are exposed to it for long periods of time.
- As much as possible, steer clear of loud noises. If you need to expose yourself to loud noise, use hearing protection. So make certain you use earplugs when you go to that rock concert.
- Wear ear protection to work if your job exposes you to loud noise. With modern high quality ear muffs, loud sounds are filtered out while you can still hear people talking clearly.
All of these strategies will help safeguard your ears. But there’s one more action you can take to keep your hearing in fighting shape: schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam. Catching hearing loss before it’s perceptible can be accomplished by having regular examinations. Even if your hearing is perfectly normal, an exam will still be able to provide a useful baseline to compare against future results.
Keep Your Ears Healthy by Wearing Hearing Aids
The world we live in can be boisterous. In spite of your best effort to protect your hearing, you still may eventually notice some hearing loss. If that’s the case, it’s essential that you seek help as soon as possible. A good set of hearing aids can help prevent some of the so-called age-related concerns related to hearing impairments.
You can maybe consider hearing aids as a facelift for your ears: something to make your ears to perform a little more youthfully. And that can help keep depression, dementia, and other problems at bay. The example isn’t ideal, as hearing aids are essential and a facelift isn’t, but you get the idea. Wrinkle creams might help you look younger. But if you actually want to fight aging and feel a bit more youthful, your best choice is to safeguard your hearing and take care of your hearing loss.