Bright Audiology - Sanford, NC

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

Growing up into adulthood, you most likely started to associate hearing loss with old age. The majority of us have had past experiences with older people attempting to hear words and phrases, or wearing hearing aids.

As you become more mature, you start to learn that there is another factor regarding hearing loss besides aging.

Feeling old is the main reason why people can’t admit they have hearing loss.

You can Start to Lose Your Ability to Hear at any age

By the age of 12, hearing specialists can already identify some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Obviously, someone who is 12 is certainly not “old”. In the past 3 decades we have seen a 33% increase in teenage hearing loss.

What’s going on here?

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

The problem is not with getting old. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is totally avoidable. And you have the ability to drastically reduce the advancement of your hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss, referred to medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most commonly triggered by loud noise.

For generations hearing loss was believed to be inevitable when you get older. But today, scientists know more about how to take care of your hearing and even restore it.

The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss

You should appreciate that loud noise is not harmless if you really want to begin to protect your hearing.

Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel all the way down through your eardrum and into your inner ear.

Tiny hair cells resonate here within the inner ear. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of running water, someone yelling for assistance, a waterfall, or any other sound which may be around.

But at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells shake too rapidly. They die because the vibrations are too strong for them to handle.

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

Hearing Loss Triggered by Loud Sound is Permanent

If you cut your body, the injury heals. But when you damage these little hair cells, they won’t heal, and they will not ever grow back again. Every time you are subjected to loud sound, more of these cells are lost for ever.

Hearing loss progresses as they die.

Hearing Injury can be Caused by Common Sounds

This is a unexpected fact for most people to learn. You may not question:

  • 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 manufacturing plant or other loud industry
  • Hunting
  • Playing music in a band

You don’t have to give up these activities. The good thing is, you can take positive measures to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.

How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” Like Your old

If you already suffer from hearing loss, acknowledging it does not have to make you feel older. In reality, failing to admit it can guarantee faster development and problems that will cause you to you feel much older in just a few short years including:

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

These are all considerably more prevalent in people with untreated hearing loss.

Prevent Further Hearing Problems

Begin by recognizing exactly how to prevent hearing damage.

  1. Discover how loud everyday sounds actually are by using a sound meter app on your smart-phone.
  2. Hazardous volumes should be avoided without the correct ear protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
  3. Know that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing for a short time immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get a lot more pronounced as time goes by.
  4. Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
  5. Respect work hearing protection rules.
  6. Reduce your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Refrain from standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
  8. Invest in earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen pretty much non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
  9. High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications tend to cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be sure, don’t ever listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
  10. Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to walk.

Get a Hearing Test

Are you in denial or procrastinating on it? Make the right choice now rather than later. You need to be aware so you can be proactive to minimize further damage.

Talk to Your Hearing Specialist Concerning Hearing Answers

There are not any “normal cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is serious, it might be time to buy a hearing aid.

A Cost-Benefits Assessment is the First Step

Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them seem old. Or perhaps they believe they cost too much.

However as soon as they recognize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause many health and personal complications, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Talk to a hearing care expert now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!

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