Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

Early in life, you likely started to connect hearing loss with getting old. Many of us have past experiences with older people trying to understand conversations, or utilizing hearing aids.

But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it swiftly drew near, when you learn more about hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with old age and much more to do with something else entirely.

A lot of people are scared to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it makes them feel like they are getting old.

Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Condition”

Even before we turn 13, hearing specialists already begin to identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Needless to say, someone who is 12 is not “old”. Teen hearing loss has gone up 33% within the last 3 decades.

What are the key factors involved?

Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.

It’s not an aging problem. It’s absolutely possible to avoid, although most people might think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to appreciably minimize the development of your hearing loss.

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

For ages hearing loss was assumed to be unavoidable as you age. But at present, we know more about how to take care of your hearing and also restore it.

How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss

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

Sound is made up of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They move all the way down past your eardrum and into your inner ear.

Within the inner ear little hairs vibrate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how frequently these tiny little hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone shouting for assistance, a waterfall, or any other sound which might be around you.

The problem is at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too quickly. They die because the vibrations are too loud for them to handle.

When these hairs are lost then so is your hearing.

Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible

If you cut yourself, the injury heals. These little cells never heal. When they die, they are gone forever. Every time you are exposed to loud noise, more of these cells are lost for ever.

As they die, hearing loss progresses.

Everyday Noises Which Cause Hearing Damage

Most people are surprised to discover that everyday activities may be the cause of hearing loss. It’s 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 manufacturing plant or other loud profession
  • Hunting
  • Playing music in a band

You don’t have to quit these activities. It is possible to minimize noise related hearing damage by employing pro-active measures.

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

You can accept that you’re suffering from hearing problems without feeling old. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will wind up feeling older much earlier because of:

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

These are all considerably more common in people with neglected hearing loss.

Stop Further Hearing Problems

The first thing you have to do is learn how to to protect against hearing loss.

  1. Discover how noisy things truly are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
  2. Learn about dangerous volumes. Above 85 dB (decibels) can cause irreversible hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above causes instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
  3. Know that If you have ever had trouble hearing for a short time following a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will get a lot more obvious as time goes by.
  4. Wear earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
  5. Observe workplace hearing safety regulations.
  6. Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Refrain from standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
  8. Buy earbuds/headphones that come with integrated volume control. They never go over 90 decibels. You would need to listen nearly non-stop all day to cause permanent damage.
  9. High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and several medications tend to make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, don’t ever listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers differ.
  10. Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s much like your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to walk.

Get a Hearing Test

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

Consult Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Solutions

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

You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Investing In Hearing Aids

Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they decide to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them seem old. Or maybe they believe that they are too expensive.

However when they realize that hearing loss will deteriorate faster and can cause numerous health and personal issues, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Call a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker 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.
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