Hearing loss is one of the most common forms of disability around and is likely to affect many of us, especially as we get older. While age-related hearing loss is the most common type, there are other risk factors to be mindful of, such as spending too much time listening to loud music or other excessive levels of noise. You should be mindful of these, and we’re going to look at a few of the reasons why, below.
Knowing the risk factors
As mentioned, one of the risk factors worth keeping an eye on is exposure to loud noise. Excessive levels of noise count as anything above 75 decibels and, above that, the higher you go, the less time it takes that noise to potentially do irreversible damage to your hearing. Hearing protection can help protect you from excessive levels of noise, but you should be mindful of other risk factors of hearing loss, such as certain health issues and even some medications which can increase your chances, meaning you should get a hearing test more often to stay on top of it.
Changes in your hearing health
Of course, the most notable change to come with hearing loss is that you’re less able to hear noises of certain frequencies and pitches. However, it can impact your hearing health even beyond that. Tinnitus and other kinds of auditory hallucinations are some particularly common examples. For instance, hearing loss and musical ear syndrome have been linked, and treating any unnoticed hearing loss can also help with auditory hallucinations. However, prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to hearing health.
Isolation and mental health
The effects of hearing loss go well beyond the physical. People with untreated hearing loss typically have to try harder to hear things, such as speech, which can leave them feeling tired and stressed. They might begin to avoid social contact with other people to avoid this strain and to avoid the pressure and embarrassment that can come with miscommunications and misunderstandings. If this goes far enough, it can lead to isolation, social anxiety, and decreased mental health. For that reason, it’s always important to take any untreated hearing loss seriously and to know when you need help.
The best thing to do
If you’re worried about the risk factors of hearing loss, have experienced some of the signs of hearing loss, or just want to make sure that you’re being as careful as you can, then you should arrange for a hearing test with an audiologist or another hearing health care specialist. With a hearing test, the entire range of your hearing is examined, and you are given clear results on what your range of hearing is, as well as whether you might need hearing aids to help you improve it.
A lot of people can live well with hearing loss with the right hearing aids and adapt their lifestyle mindfully. However, if you can manage or prevent it, it’s a good idea to do just that.
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