“Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group.” This essentially means that while many factors can contribute to hearing loss, the most prevalent cause is aging – something almost everyone does, something unavoidable. Other factors, however, are within our ability to mitigate. Here are 5 things you can do to avoid unnecessary hearing loss:
Avoid Loud Noises
The most prevalent cause of hearing loss is aging, but right behind it comes repeated exposure to loud noises. People who come in contact with high decibel auditory stimuli on a regular basis like musicians and construction workers are at higher risk to experience hearing loss. When possible, limit the level of noise you experience – even if it means keeping the TV or your headphones lower than you may want.
Wear Noise Protection
In circumstances where you cannot avoid loud noise exposure, it is essential that you wear protective gear to keep those noises from further damaging your ears and ability to hear. Earplugs are a great tool to protect your inner ears, but you can also use things like noise-canceling headphones or earmuffs to block out excess sound.
Protect your Ears and Head from external Elements
Sometimes hearing loss can be traced back to a head injury or the inner ears being subjected to extreme weather conditions. If not the cause of hearing loss, it can definitely contribute to already-existing hearing loss, so it is of the utmost importance to protect your ears and head from anything similar! Make sure to wear protective headgear if engaging in activities with a possibility of head injury, like riding a bike, and don’t forget a hat or earmuffs when it’s cold outside.
Trust your Loved Ones
Your loved ones often can see signs of hearing loss before you do. If they bring it up because they have noticed a change in behaviors for you like needing the TV or radio louder than usual or needing to repeat themselves more often while having a conversation with you, do not brush them off as being paranoid or not having your best interests at heart. Trust that they do want only what is best for you, and understand that they may be seeing things that you aren’t.
Stay Educated and Get Regular Checkups
If you hold a career or hobby that puts you in danger of hearing loss, it is important that you keep yourself well-educated on the signs of hearing loss and that you get regular checkups with a doctor to monitor your hearing. If you do encounter any damage, it is better to catch it sooner than later. Even if you don’t work in a high-risk environment for hearing loss, our ability to hear deteriorates over time. So as you get older, it is still a good idea to monitor your hearing with a doctor of audiology.
If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, contact us! We are here to help.