It may be a little crazy to think, but hearing loss can just sneak up on you. It’s one of those inevitable things that happen in life if you’re not careful, and one day, you may notice that your hearing may not be what it once was. So, how does all of this happen? While the hearing loss doesn’t happen out of nowhere, it becomes gradual.

Since it happens gradually, it’s hard to truly pay attention to the changes in your hearing unless you compare your hearing to years ago, a loved one remarks on it, or even if your audiologist talks about it with you during an appointment. But how can hearing loss just happen, even if it isn’t out of nowhere? Here is everything you need to know!

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is the gradual decline in how well you can hear sounds. This often happens when you are exposed to loud noises for long periods of time or when you are older than 40 years old. While something such as tinnitus could technically pop up out of the blue since it’s a side effect, hearing loss itself isn’t going to get as much notice. The risk for developing hearing loss increases with age because the hair cells in the inner ear are irreversibly damaged by age-related processes such as presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) and noise-induced hearing loss.

However, gradual hearing loss due to age isn’t the only way you’re going to have hearing loss. Hearing loss may occur from exposure to loud noise or extended exposure to sound below 85 decibels (dB). Hearing loss can be caused by noise pollution, genetics, and alcohol abuse. Noise pollution is a major cause of hearing loss.

This usually depends on the area where a person may work. For instance, if you work at a factory, construction site, or even at a concert venue. These areas tend to be filled with noise pollution, so those who do not take proper precautions such as wearing earplugs will most likely face the risk of hearing loss early on in life.

It’s All About Lifestyle

While there are some who may have hearing loss due to genetics, a large portion of Americans who do deal with hearing loss where it “sneaks up on them” is mostly going to have to do with lifestyle. Your lifestyle is going to be the biggest determining factor in how your hearing health will be. Just as your physical health, eye health, and even mental health are all impacted by your lifestyle, it’s the very same for your hearing health too.

The volume of your electronic devices will make a major impact. Even how often you see your audiologist can also make an impact on your hearing health too. There is even a link to hearing loss for those who smoke or drink alcohol often. Your lifestyle is what dictates a lot of the gradual issues that you face. So you’re going to want to make sure that you’re living a healthy lifestyle.

How to Prevent Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems that people suffer from. It can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to loud sounds, age, or genetic predisposition. Hearing protection is the best way to prevent hearing loss. Earplugs and noise-canceling headphones are both effective tools for this purpose. You should also make sure that you wear earplugs when you are in noisy places like concerts and clubs. But if you have headphones in or even watching something with the speakers on, you need to know that it doesn’t have to be blasting loud.

But another way to help prevent hearing loss would be through regular yearly checkups with your audiologist. A major misconception that many believe is that they need to be referred by their family doctor to see an audiologist, but that’s actually not necessary. You are exposed to noise every day, and you use your hearing every day. Your hearing health is vital, and an audiologist will be able to check on it. You don’t want to wait for the hearing loss to just sneak up on you.

In general, when it comes to your hearing health, you’ll need to keep a close eye on it or one day you may ask “How did this happen to me”? If you’re wanting to learn more about jump-starting your hearing health journey, then you can contact the professionals of Sommerville Audiology & Hearing Aid Center at 586-298-3788!

Tags: faqs, hearing loss basics