As we get older, most of us will experience hearing loss in one form or another. According to the statistics from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, around 15% of people between the ages of 18 and over experience trouble with their hearing, while 2 to 3 out of every 1000 children in the United States have experienced a small level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
Those who experience hearing loss or hearing impairment may find that they need to wear hearing aids or other hearing apparatuses to hear. As statistics show, while there are 28.8 million people in the United States who benefit from hearing aids, only 30% of people aged 70 and over and fewer than 16% of those aged between 20 and 69 use theirs. There could be various reasons why this happens, from forgetting to put them into believing hearing aid myths they might have heard or read online.
Nevertheless, for many of us who haven’t experienced hearing loss yet, it’s important to remember that hearing loss is an impairment that can sneak up on you and slowly become severe over time. You should be aware of how to take care of your hearing as you get older. For now, you can start with:
Taking a break from your headphones
As much as we love music, wearing headphones on high volume over a long period of time slowly erodes your hearing. This is because you have tiny hairs in the inner part of the ear (called the cochlea) that help you pick up sound. These hair cells are delicate, so over time, they begin to break down when exposed to loud noises, which contributes to hearing loss. Headphones are one of many things that can affect these hairs along with other loud noises; since we have them on for a long time, on such loud volumes, they can significantly affect your hearing in what audiologists call noise-induced hearing loss.
Taking a break from headphones gives the hairs in your ear time to recover. Or having them on a lower volume if you need to use them is another way of using them without affecting your hearing. In addition to this, some phones and other listening devices will warn you when you’re going over the listening limit.
Don’t stay around loud noises.
Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common ways to lose your hearing because we are exposed to loud noises every day. Any sound over 85 dBa (decibels) has the potential to cause hearing damage. You can find the measurements for certain noises online.
To protect yourself from loud noises, remove yourself from any area where sound emits for an extended period of time, and if you can, wear noise-canceling headphones to muffle the noise.
Seek an audiologist if you need help
An Audiologist specializes in hearing health, so if you find that you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s imperative that you visit your nearest audiologist. They can advise you on how you can maintain your hearing before it begins to deteriorate even further.