If you or someone you care about has trouble hearing, you may have some questions about hearing loss. Have you noticed any changes in your hearing or started to find it hard to understand what people are saying? Do you have trouble hearing in places with a lot of noise or can’t understand what your grandchildren say?
You’re not the only one who has these questions about hearing loss. Here are a few of the most common questions surrounding hearing loss.
What causes hearing loss?
There are several causes of hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss, also called presbycusis, is caused by the normal wear and tear that happens to your hearing as you grow older. As the cells in the inner ear break down and wear out, you’ll start to lose your hearing. This hearing loss is a normal part of getting older, but hearing aids should still be used to help.
Noise-induced hearing loss is a hearing loss that is caused by being around too much loud noise (NIHL). NIHL can happen suddenly after hearing one deafening noise or over time after exposure to loud noises at work, in a bar, or at a sporting event. When you hear loud sounds, the sensitive hair cells in your inner ear get hurt and can’t send signals to the brain.
Hearing loss can also be passed down through your family; two to three of every 1000 babies are born with it.
Can I prevent hearing loss?
You may entirely prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) if you consistently use hearing protection anytime you’re exposed to loud noise. Hearing loss that comes with aging is normal and can’t be stopped. On the other hand, NIHL can be stopped completely.
How loud is it too loud? With the volume turned up, you should keep your ears safe from loud music, motorcycles, power tools, heavy machinery, guns, fireworks, and personal listening devices. If you have to yell to be heard by the person next to you, you should wear hearing protection to keep your hearing in good shape.
Does hearing loss only affect my ability to hear?
Hearing loss that isn’t treated has been linked to many physical, mental, and emotional health problems. People with hearing loss are more likely to get into accidents, slip, and fall and stay in the hospital longer than their hearing peers.
Your friends and family would love to have you join them at events, but you can’t easily talk to them because you have trouble hearing. You might stay home to avoid being embarrassed by not being able to hear or answer correctly. You get tired of asking people to repeat themselves, so you smile and nod instead of talking to them. This can cause stress, worry, and depression.
Hearing loss that isn’t treated has also been linked to a much higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. As your hearing loss gets worse, your memory and thinking skills get worse, and your risk of dementia goes up.
Will hearing aids completely restore my hearing?
Hearing aids of today are unique pieces of technology that can do many different things. Complex settings and programs can be changed to fit your hearing loss and hearing needs, and you’ll find it easy to follow conversations even in noisy places. You’ll be able to hear everything around you again and enjoy music.
But hearing aids can’t make up for all the hearing that has been lost. That’s why it’s so important to catch hearing loss early and take care of your hearing.
How often should I check my hearing?
Seniors over 60 should get hearing tests yearly to catch hearing problems as soon as possible. Call us today to set up a hearing test if your hearing has changed. Our hearing specialists will ask you questions about your lifestyle and hearing needs to figure out how bad your hearing loss is. We will then help you find the correct device to help you hear at home, at work, and anywhere else you need a little extra help hearing.