About one in three adults between 65 and 74 have hearing loss, often gradually over time, with many people being unaware they’re losing their hearing until it is too late.
Age-related hearing loss is an inevitable part of growing older, but it can be effectively managed to improve quality of life. Options available to treat age-related hearing loss include assistive listening devices, hearing aids or implants.
1. Avoid Loud Noises
Loud noises can damage the hair cells that enable hearing, gradually leading to hearing loss. You may not even realize it until it becomes severe enough that conversations become unclear.
Ototoxicity can occur for a number of reasons, including genetics, structural changes to the ear and exposure to loud noises. While symptoms may sometimes reverse themselves, in many cases they cannot.
Hyperacusis, or hearing loss characterized by difficulty hearing loud sounds and/or difficulty understanding people’s voices in noisy places, usually occurs as people age but it can also occur in children.
Avoid hearing loss by limiting your exposure to loud noises. Wear earplugs when listening to anything loud (for instance when riding on a motorcycle or listening to rock music).
If your work environment produces excessive noise, speak to your employer about implementing noise control measures like quieter machines or isolating its source. Furthermore, be sure to wear hearing protection while driving to and from work in noisy traffic environments.
Steps you can take to avoid age related hearing loss are vitally important and earplugs are an easy, cost-effective solution that can be purchased at drug stores.
Avoid noisy environments like shopping centers and restaurants as these may make it hard for you to concentrate when studying or performing other tasks.
If your hearing is troubling you, make an appointment to see an otolaryngologist or an audiologist for expert evaluation of both ears. They’ll check the hearing in both of them, review your speech patterns, and offer solutions to reduce noise exposure.
2. Wear Earplugs
Earplugs are an easy and safe way to reduce loud noises and protect your hearing, offering protection in various styles and sizes to meet individual needs.
Foam earplugs are among the most commonly sold options at drugstores and sporting goods stores, typically featuring an inner foam core with an outer coating to help secure it in place.
Soft silicone earplugs are another popular choice, designed to fit securely within the ear canal and are often worn while sleeping. Reusable versions may even offer further convenience.
Silicone earplugs, sometimes referred to as “Hi-Fi” earplugs, are designed to offer maximum noise reduction. Made to order and shaped to the shape of your ear canal for secure fitting.
Earplugs with an NRR of 39 decibels or higher have proven the most efficient. A higher NRR allows more sound to be blocked out while decibels will decrease.
Flanged plugs feature two or three webbed rings to secure them within your ear canal and block sounds effectively while keeping the plug from falling out of your ear. This design helps ensure its long-term usage.
At first, using earplugs may feel strange; however, with time this awkward feeling subsides. Some individuals find wearing them during sleep can actually help improve quality of restful slumber.
Use of earplugs must be done correctly and regularly, and never too deeply into your ear canal as this could damage its inner parts. Furthermore, ensure they fit comfortably within their socket.
Exercise can do wonders for your overall health – be it walking your dog, gardening, going to the gym, playing with grandchildren or simply housework. Exercising will not only help you look and feel great but can also boost mood and give more energy!
Studies have demonstrated the power of regular exercise to combat presbycusis – age-related hearing loss. People over 50 who engage in cardio for 20-30 minutes five times weekly maintain hearing sensitivity while delaying age-related hearing loss.
Cardio exercise boosts overall blood flow throughout your body, which carries oxygen and nutrients directly to the ears, feeding delicate hair cells in your inner ear that convert sound waves into electrical signals that your brain can understand. This nourishes these delicate hair cells for maximum sound conversion capabilities.
Exercise helps relieve stress by releasing endorphins – natural chemicals produced by your brain that increase mood – which are combined with anti-inflammatory properties of exercise to protect hearing health.
University of Florida researchers discovered that sedentary mice lost key structures within their inner ears faster than exercising mice; such as hair cells and strial capillaries which play an essential role in sound detection.
Starting slowly is key when increasing activity levels to build strength and stamina over time. You’ll find plenty of exercises tailored specifically for your age and level of fitness that you can try out.
4. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can lead to many health issues, including hearing loss. Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals which may damage the inner ear, leading to hearing impairment and eventual deafness.
Smoking may contribute to hearing problems by contributing to tinnitus (ringing in the ears). To protect hearing health and avoid these hearing difficulties altogether, the best strategy is to discontinue smoking immediately.
Avoid smoking or seek advice from your physician on nicotine replacement therapy to assist in quitting cigarettes. For further assistance, discuss this matter with them.
Smokers experience more difficulty hearing than nonsmokers and are more prone to hearing disorders such as tinnitus and other hearing conditions, including more likely developing tinnitus and related hearing conditions. Furthermore, smoking increases susceptibility for infections of the ears and sinuses which further compromise hearing function and lead to diminished hearing ability.
Even adolescents living with smokers are at a greater risk of hearing loss due to secondhand smoke damaging the ear canal and increasing the risk of infections in the ears.
Smoking has many negative health impacts, from increasing your risk of heart disease and cancer, to diminishing lung capacity. Quitting is one of the best ways to ensure a healthier future for yourself and those around you.
Eating healthily, exercising regularly and managing stress are all effective strategies for bettering overall health. If you already suffer from conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, however, working closely with your physician to find appropriate treatments is vital to finding relief from those conditions.
If you have hearing loss, using a hearing aid may help your hearing to improve. An audiologist can assist in finding one that meets both your needs and budget; additionally they will show you how to use it correctly.
5. See Your Doctor
Early intervention for hearing loss is essential to its prevention and management. Your physician can perform an ear exam using an otoscope, showing exactly what’s happening inside of your ear canal. They can also refer you to hearing care professionals like an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) or an audiologist who will test your hearing before providing recommendations about potential treatment plans for you.
Age related hearing loss is not an uncommon occurrence after age 65. According to estimates by the National Institute on Aging, approximately one-third of adults over 65 experience some degree of hearing loss.
Hearing relies on tiny sensory hair cells found within the inner ear that help the brain interpret sound waves into nerve signals, so if these hair cells become damaged or die off completely you could suffer hearing loss.
Good news is that most hearing problems can be managed. Hearing aids may help amplify sounds so you can understand what people are saying; and for severe hearing loss, doctors may recommend cochlear implants to restore hearing.
Hearing aids can also be instrumental in combatting depression and social isolation – two conditions which often afflict those living with hearing loss – so their use should be prioritized to keep these from worsening.
Take steps to prevent and manage hearing loss by wearing earplugs and engaging in regular physical exercise – these simple actions will improve your quality of life and ensure better hearing! See your physician if you experience symptoms or suspect hearing difficulty; or if someone close to you suspects it.