Age-Related Hearing Loss – Is It Inevitable?
Do you find yourself becoming increasingly worried about your hearing as you get along in years? Are you concerned you may need a hearing aid by the time you’re ready to enjoy the perks of retirement?
Hearing loss is something many of us accept as a natural part of the ageing process, like grey hairs and reading glasses.
But is there something you can do to reduce your risk of suffering from a significant age-related hearing loss?
Let Us Ease Your Fears: Hearing Loss Can be Prevented
While it is a common side-effect of getting older, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is not inevitable!
Getting older affects your health and well-being; that’s no secret.
It’s also common knowledge that there’s a lot you can do to slow down the naturally occurring ageing process and everything that comes with it – including a decline in your ability to hear!
|Age-related hearing loss also referred to as presbycusis, is a form of sensorineural hearing loss that occurs gradually in both ears and affects one in three adults over 65.|
Causes and Symptoms of Age-Related Hearing Loss
Unlike other types of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss can have many causes.
It is usually a result of general wear and tear of the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear and damage to the middle ear and the nerve pathways to the brain.
Over the years, the accumulated damage caused by noise exposure, trauma, certain illnesses and medications will lead to a gradual change in your hearing.
In summary, the following factors may impact your ability to hear as you age:
What symptoms and warning signs should you watch out for?
Do these symptoms sound all too familiar? Then it’s about time to book yourself in for a comprehensive hearing assessment with a trusted, accredited audiologist.
Don’t dismiss a change in your hearing – any decline in your ability to hear and communicate can have severe consequences for your health.
Whether or not you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, there’s a variety of means by which hearing impairments can be managed and treated.
Are you keen to learn more about hearing loss management? Read on here.
Three Things You Can do to Prevent Hearing Loss
- Book your annual hearing test
- Stay away from loud noise
- Wear hearing protection
1. Have your hearing checked regularly
If you haven’t had a hearing test yet, this is your wake up call! Since presbycusis usually occurs gradually, you might not notice it until you’ve lost a good part of your hearing.
The good news: Even then, hearing loss is highly treatable. There are solutions for all types of hearing loss, which means you do not need to live in fear.
Hearing aids, Cochlear implants and a range of amplification devices can address most types of hearing loss.
But most importantly: Prevention is better than cure. Any hearing loss that is caught early likely won’t progress any further.
So do yourself a favour, and book a hearing test today!
If necessary, your audiologist will also advise you to have access to ear wax professionally removed. A buildup of wax can muffle sounds and cause a temporary hearing loss.
They may also check your medications for any hearing risks. We know of more than 200 drugs that can negatively affect your hearing, including some antibiotics and aspirin (in high doses).
2. Steer clear of loud noises
Noise-induced hearing loss is the one type of hearing loss that is completely preventable.
So if you want to avoid age-related hearing loss, be aware of environmental noises, both at work and in your spare time.
Exposure to noise around 85 decibels for eight hours or more puts your hearing at serious risk. This includes traffic noise, motorcycles, sirens and concerts.
Sounds above that mark damage your hearing much faster and should be avoided. If that’s not possible, make sure to wear the proper protective gear.
3. Wear hearing protection where necessary
Every hearing health expert agrees that wearing earplugs or other hearing protection in noisy environments is one of the best things you can do to protect your hearing and avoid noise-induced hearing loss, now and in the future.
Earplugs and earmuffs are often made of foam or rubber and can be purchased off-the-shelf or made to order from your audiologist.
For a list of accredited hearing healthcare professionals in your area, visit our directory of Attune Hearing clinics or give our friendly team a call at 1300 736 702!