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 older people. Almost all of us have had past experiences with older people struggling to make out words and phrases, or using hearing aids.

As you grow up, you start to find out that there is another cause of hearing loss apart from aging.

Many people are scared to admit they have hearing loss because it makes them feel old.

Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Condition”

By the age of 12, hearing specialists can already detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this isn’t because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 3 decades there has been a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.

What’s at work here?

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

It’s not an aging issue. What you may consider age-related hearing loss is totally preventable. And you have the ability to dramatically lessen the progression of your hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical term for age-related hearing loss, is in most cases brought on by loud noise.

For ages hearing loss was considered to be unavoidable when you get older. But at present, scientists know more concerning exactly how to take care of your hearing and even restore it.

How Noise Causes Hearing Loss

Step one to taking care of your ears is understanding how something as “innocent” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.

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

Here, little tiny hair cells in your inner ear resonate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these tiny hairs vibrate. Your brain can translate this code into the sound of peoples voices, rushing water, a warning alert, a scream or anything else you may hear.

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 loud for them to deal with.

Without them, you can not hear.

Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Sound is not Reversible

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

Hearing loss advances as they die.

There are Sounds That are Common Which can Cause Hearing Damage

This is a unexpected thing for most people to discover. You might not think twice about:

  • 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

These activities don’t need to be given up. It is possible to lessen noise induced hearing loss by employing pro-active steps.

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

You can admit that you suffer from hearing loss without feeling old. The longer you ignore it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will wind up feeling older much sooner because of:

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

For people with neglected hearing loss, suffering from one or more of these is considerably more likely.

Stop Further Hearing Injury

Start by understanding exactly how to protect against hearing loss.

  1. Put a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud common sounds really can be.
  2. Damaging volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. 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 higher causes instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
  3. You should know that you have already caused hearing damage if you have had a hard time hearing, or if your ears were ringing, after a concert. It will become a lot more pronounced as time goes by.
  4. Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
  5. Observe work hearing protection procedures.
  6. Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when listening at home.
  8. Buy earbuds/headphones which have built-in volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen almost non-stop all day to cause irreversible damage.
  9. High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications can make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
  10. Use your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to start walking again.

Schedule a Hearing Appointment

Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. The sooner you make the wise choice the less damage you will continue to do.

Consult Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Answers

There are no “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have severe hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.

A Cost-Benefits Comparison is the First Step

Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they think they are too expensive.

However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause numerous health and relationship issues, it’s easy to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Talk to a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are suggested, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you probably 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.