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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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. The majority of us have had past experiences with older people struggling to make out conversations, or using hearing aids.

But just like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you until it quickly drew near, when you discover more with regards to hearing loss, you come to understand that it has much less to do with old age and much more to do with something else entirely.

Many people are reluctant to admit they have hearing loss because it causes them to feel old.

You can Start Loosing Your Hearing at any age

Even in pre-teens, audiologists already begin to diagnose some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Clearly, someone who is 12 years old is not “old”. Teen hearing loss has gone up 33% in the past 30 years.

What’s at work here?

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

The challenge is not with aging. It’s 100% possible to avoid, despite the fact that many people may think of it as an aging problem. And you have the power to considerably minimize the progression of your hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss, referred to medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently instigated by noise.

For decades hearing loss was believed to be inescapable as you get older. However thanks to cutting-edge science we know a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.

How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise

You should comprehend that noise is not harmless if you really want to begin to protect your ears.

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

Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how quickly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of birds singing, someone yelling for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be near you.

But at the time the inner ear is subjected to noises that are too loud, these hair cells vibrate too rapidly. The noise vibrates them until they die.

If these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.

Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent

Most types of injury can be healed by your body. These little cells do not heal. When they die, they are gone forever. The more you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more of these little cells die.

As they die, hearing loss progresses.

Hearing Damage can be Caused by Common Noises

This is a shocking thing for most people to learn. You might 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 profession
  • Hunting
  • Being a musician

These activities don’t need to be given up. Luckily, you can take proactive measures to minimize noise-related hearing loss.

Don’t Allow Hearing Loss Make you Feel old

If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, recognizing it doesn’t need to cause you to feel older. As a matter of fact, failing to accept it can doom you to faster progression and problems that will make you feel much 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

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

How can you Avoid Further Hearing Damage?

Begin by recognizing how to avoid hearing damage.

  1. Sound meter apps are available for your phone which can show you how loud things really are.
  2. Harmful volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing damage in only 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher results in instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 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. Over time it will become worse.
  4. Use earplugs and/or sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
  5. Observe work hearing safety rules.
  6. Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Avoid standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
  8. Purchase earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. These don’t go higher 90 decibels. You would have to listen almost non-stop all day to do irreversible damage.
  9. High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and various 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 differ.
  10. Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid if you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to walk.

Call a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Examination

Are you in denial or putting off on it? Stop it. You need to know so you can become proactive to minimize further damage.

Talk to Your Hearing Professional About Hearing Answers

There are not any “normal cures” for hearing loss. If hearing loss is extreme, it could be time to get a hearing aid.

You Should way the Cost Against the Benefits of Buying Hearing Aids

Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids will make them appear old. Or they believe that they are too expensive.

But when they understand that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause numerous health and relationship problems, it’s easy to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Talk to a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!