The Most Important Thing to Know About Hearing Loss

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

As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an affect on people of advanced age. You may have had older people around you struggling to make out conversations or utilizing hearing aids.

But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it fast drew near, as you discover more regarding hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with growing old and a lot more to do with something else.

Here is the most important thing to know: acknowledging that you have hearing loss does not make you old.

It Doesn’t Matter how old you are, you May Still Have Hearing Loss

Even in pre-teens, audiologists can already identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. Clearly, somebody who is 12 is not really “old”. In the past 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teenage hearing loss.

What’s at work here?

2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds presently have disabling hearing loss.

It’s not an aging problem. What you may consider age-associated hearing loss is actually totally preventable. Dramatically minimizing your hearing loss is within reach.

Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is usually brought on by loud noise.

For generations hearing loss was believed to be inevitable as you get older. But today, scientists are more knowledgeable about exactly how to safeguard your hearing and even restore it.

How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise

You need to appreciate that loud noise is not harmless if you desire to start to safeguard your hearing.

Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. Traveling down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.

Here, tiny little hair cells in your inner ear resonate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these little hairs vibrate. 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 may be around you.

The problem is that as noises are too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations get to be too loud for them to handle.

If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.

Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible

If you cut your body, the injury heals. These little cells never heal. When they are gone, they are lost forever. The more you’re subjected to loud noises, the more of these tiny hair cells you lose.

Hearing loss progresses as they die.

There are Sounds That are Common Which Will Cause Hearing Damage

This is a unexpected thing for most people to find out. It’s very easy to discount:

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

It’s not necessary to quit these activities. It is possible to reduce noise induced hearing damage by employing pro-active steps.

You Don’t Need to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss

If you already suffer from hearing loss, recognizing it does not need to make you feel older. As a matter of fact, failing to admit it can doom you to faster advancement and difficulties that will certainly cause you to you feel a lot older in only a few short years including:

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

For people with untreated hearing loss, these are considerably more common.

Stop Further Hearing Problems

The first step is to learn how to to counter hearing loss.

  1. Get a sound meter app on your smart-phone, and find out how loud things really can be.
  2. Learn about hazardous volumes. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing damage in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
  3. Recognize that If you’ve ever had trouble hearing briefly immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. As time goes by it will get worse.
  4. Wear earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
  5. Adhere to work hearing protection procedures.
  6. Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Avoid standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
  8. Invest in earbuds/headphones that come with built-in volume control. They don’t go over 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen nearly non-stop all the time to cause permanent damage.
  9. High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be sure, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
  10. Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to start walking again.

Schedule a Hearing Test

Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice now rather than later. You need to know so that you can become proactive to minimize further damage.

Consult Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Answers

There are no “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If hearing loss is severe, it could be time to purchase a hearing aid.

Do a Cost-Benefit Assessment of Hearing Aids

Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids will make them seem old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.

However when they understand that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause various health and personal difficulties, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Call a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids these days are much sleeker and more sophisticated than you may think!

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.