It’s common for the hearing faculties in older adults to deteriorate as they age. According to the National Institute on Deafness, close to 50% of older adults aged 75 and above have hearing problems, and every one in three between 65 and 74 of age has some hearing impairment.
Despite being a typical byproduct of aging, not all older adults will experience hearing loss. There are certain measures you can take to avoid hearing loss and retain your hearing far into your retirement years with the right preventative strategies. Read on to learn all about the causes of age-related hearing loss and how to prevent it.
Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is evidently a condition that many folks face on a daily basis. But why does it happen? The first and most significant cause of hearing loss is aging. Age-related hearing loss happens as a result of the tiny hairs in our ears, which are necessary for aiding the brain in understanding audio signals, becoming damaged or completely lost with age. This makes it increasingly challenging or impossible for older adults to convert audio signals into audible sounds, giving rise to age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis.
In addition to hearing loss brought on by aging, other possible causes include pharmaceutical side effects, hypertension, brain or ear tumors, strokes, infections, ruptured eardrums, or even just earwax accumulation. Individuals who work in noisy environments like processing plants or the music industry can develop hearing loss in their older years as a consequence of eardrum trauma.
How to Prevent Age-Related Hearing Loss
Even though hearing is hard to regain once it’s gone, it is rather easy to preserve. In light of this, the following are some essential methods for older adults to preserve their hearing today and in the long run:
- Wear Earplugs as Much as Possible
Loud sounds have already caused irreparable hearing loss in millions of Americans. This makes it clear how important it is to shield your hearing from loud sounds. It’s advisable to use earplugs while in loud environments when operating noisy equipment, and exercise caution when turning up your headphones’ music volume. These are simple efforts but can help protect your ears long into the future.
- Take Your Medications Cautiously
Numerous folks incorrectly believe that it’s typical for some drugs to affect your hearing. But some can have really adverse effects. Consult your doctor if you believe a drug you just began taking is harming your hearing. You might be able to choose an alternative kind of medication to safeguard your body and hearing.
- Schedule Regular Check-ups
While most individuals skip their yearly hearing checks, going for them enables you to identify potentially hazardous hearing problems before they become irreversible. As you age, it’s essential to visit your doctor if you experience any unusual or worsening hearing issues.
These recommendations, though seemingly straightforward, can go far in minimizing the harm that hearing loss can bring and guaranteeing that you stay content, healthy, and mentally stimulated far into your golden years. These simple preventative measures can also help to ensure that you don’t have to deal with the mental and emotional difficulties brought on by hearing impairment, such as depression and impaired cognitive performance.