Everyday Activities That Could Harm Your Hearing      

Everyday Activities That Could Harm Your Hearing

Hearing loss is not just an issue with our ears but affects how we connect to the people in our lives. When our hearing suffers it becomes difficult to keep up with conversations that make us feel involved and connected. As hearing loss progresses and communication breaks down people often become depressed, anxious around social interaction, struggle with sleep, and self-isolate. The important thing to remember is that hearing loss is often avoidable. When we understand instances that can put our hearing in risk of damage, we can take proper precautions to avoid permanent hearing injury.

Noise induced hearing loss

There are many factors that can damage your hearing over time. The most prevalent cause of hearing loss for people of all ages is caused by exposure to excessive levels of noise. Sound is measured in decibels and any sound that crosses the threshold of 85 decibels can damage your hearing over time. This can add up if you are exposed day after day in a work environment.  This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide hearing protection for any worker exposed. After working the same job for 10 years you can have developed serious hearing damage if proper protection is not worn. However, as the decibel level climbs the speed in which your hearing incurs damage becomes quicker and more severe. While there are high instances of hearing loss from noise exposure in work settings, many causes of noise induced hearing loss happen while we are engaging in recreational activities.

Recreational activities that put your hearing at risk

Public events: Many of the activities we love to do can permanently damage our hearing. For instance the sound of a nightclub or concert can soar to decibel levels over 100 dBA easily. Similarly, some stadium sports events have been recorded higher than 130 decibels, which is loud enough to damage hearing instantaneously.

Motorcycles: Another way to cause damage to your hearing quickly is when riding a recreational vehicle like a motorcycle. The decibel rises very quickly as you reach speeds up to 70 miles and spend hours on the highway, with engine noise and the sound of the wind.

Hunting and Shooting: Hunting can be a great way to connect to the outdoors and may even provide a meal in the process. However, guns pose a huge risk to our hearing. Sound level meter measurements have recorded peak noise levels during gunfire at levels greater than 160 dBA, which can instantaneously damage hearing. Make sure to wear proper hearing protection whenever handling a firearm

Headphones and Earbuds: One of the most common threats to the hearing of people of all ages are personal listening devices which send sound directly to your ears via headphones or earbuds. This practice has become so commonplace that many people put their ears at dangerous levels of exposure without ever realizing. Headphones can send sounds to your ears at levels over 100 dBA. Because of endless streaming possibilities of audio information available the length of time that people listen can contribute to serious hearing loss in only a couple of years. This poses a real threat to the hearing of a younger generation. To ensure that you are listening at a safe level, it is important to keep the potential volume of your personal listening device below 60% of its potential volume. It is also important to make sure to take listening breaks, which can give your ears a moment to recover from the sound.

Treating Hearing Loss

While noise induced hearing loss is irreversible it can be treated rather effectively with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hearing aids amplify the sounds you struggle with and send the audio information to your inner ear to be more easily registered. Hearing aids can make it easier for you to converse with the people in your life who make you connected.

If you suspect that you or someone you care about is dealing with hearing loss make sure to set up a hearing test as soon as possible. The sooner you deal with a hearing loss, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your life and hearing your best. Contact us today!

Age-Related Hearing Loss is Often Untreated

Age-Related Hearing Loss is Often Untreated

As you age there is a big chance you may be dealing with age related hearing loss. Age related hearing loss is the most common reason for hearing loss, affecting 1 in 3 seniors 65 and over and half of those over 75 years old. Age related hearing loss also known as presbycusis is the natural breakdown of your inner ears as the loud noises your ears have endured and lifestyle choices of a lifetime can build up. 

Hearing Loss Develops Over Time

People are often reluctant to admit or accept they have a problem because often they do not know they have a problem at all. Presbycusis is often undiagnosed and untreated because it develops slowly over time. It tends to start slowly that most do not realize that they have hearing damage until one struggles even in the most quiet of environments. 

Knowing the Signs of Age-Related Hearing Loss 

When we know the signs of age-related hearing loss we can make wise choices around treatment. It is often the people in your life who spend the most time with you that will notice you have a hearing loss before you diagnose the condition yourself.  They may notice you asking them to repeat themselves over and over or catch you misunderstanding or pretending to understand what was said. If you are having trouble hearing people in a crowded room, you find you need the television or phone turned up louder than people around you or you are missing alarm clocks and door bells then it is a very good idea to have your hearing checked as possible.

Denial of Hearing Loss

There are many reasons that keep seniors from admitting they have a hearing loss. Some of these reasons for denial include not believing that their hearing has declined enough to seek treatment, or see it as a sign of weakness they are not willing to admit to. Denial around hearing has serious health complications as seniors age. It is important to understand that while presbycusis is a permanent condition it can be treated using hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify the sounds that your ears struggle to decipher and send them to your inner ear. When seniors are reluctant to admit they have a hearing problem they deny treatment, which allows dangerous side effects to progress to the detriment of their health.

Negative Effects of Denial Around Hearing Loss

When hearing loss is ignored and goes untreated it can make seniors feel out of the loop in conversations. They may start to struggle in communication, opting to avoid social interactions, leading to depression and self-isolation. Relationships between partners, family, friends and co-workers begin to struggle and self confidence suffers. Seniors who struggle to hear can struggle with memory problems that have been linked to a higher risk in developing dementia. Mobility is also compromised as seniors have less auditory information helping them navigate the world, leading to higher incidence of falls and hospitalizations. 

Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss

When seniors treat their hearing with hearing aids they have a chance to stop these negative side effects before they can progress into more serious conditions. Hearing aids have been shown time and time again to help ease the effects of presbycusis, making the people and sounds of your life audible. 

Despite the positive benefits of hearing aids many seniors avoid dealing with their hearing. Of people 70 and older that could benefit from hearing aids only 30% have ever even tried them. Don’t be part of this statistic. Hearing aids can make it possible to communicate with the people in your life, continuing to build and develop relationships. You will have a greater sense of mobility and self- confidence, allowing you to stay active, connected and engaged.

Schedule a Hearing Test Today

Don’t let hearing loss slow you down from continuing to enjoy your life. As you arrive at 65 and older it is a safe bet to have your hearing checked annually. Make an appointment to have your hearing checked today. We can help you understand if you have a hearing loss, to what extent and help you find the best hearing solutions for you and your lifestyle.