What exactly is age-related hearing loss, and why do so many people experience this side effect of aging? (It’s true: approximately 35 million Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss.) What happens to our bodies as we age?
Aging and Our Bodies
It’s no secret — our bodies change as we age. Growing older involves lots of physical shifts, including: loss of muscle mass, longer recovery periods, slower metabolisms, and other often annoying physical symptoms. And yes, hearing loss is among these physical shifts. In fact, rates of hearing loss increase dramatically as we age. An estimated 8.5% of adults aged 55-64 have hearing loss. And, 25% of adults aged 65-74 have hearing loss. 50% of adults aged 75 and up have hearing loss! Wow! Clearly, hearing loss can accompany growing older.
Why Does Hearing Loss Happen During Aging?
So, why does hearing loss occur during the aging process? Well, there are a number of factors:
- Genetics. Genetics certainly play a role, and many people have a predisposition to hearing loss because of their genetic makeup.
- Hair cells inside your hear. There are lots of hair cells inside your ear that pick up sound waves and change them into nerve signals that the brain interprets as sound. These hair cells get damaged or die as we age, and they do not regenerate, which can cause hearing loss.
- Repeated exposure to loud noises. Attendance at rock concerts, obsession with fireworks, hunting or shooting, and other exposures certainly play a role in age-related hearing loss.
- Smoking. Smokers are more likely to experience hearing loss during the aging process than non-smokers.
- Health conditions. Certain health issues, such as diabetes, can increase the likelihood of age-related hearing loss.
- Medications. For those who have gone through chemotherapy or other long-term drug protocols, the likelihood of hearing loss is higher.
There is no one reason that so many American adults experience hearing loss during the aging process. However, there are many effective solutions (though, no cures) for treating hearing loss! Isn’t that exciting!?!
Why You Need Hearing Healthcare
For many American adults, aging gracefully is a powerful choice. As such, these Americans choose to visit an excellent audiologist to oversee their hearing healthcare. Because — it’s so true — there are so many amazing solutions to age-related hearing loss. Progressive technologies allow us to experience life in spite of hearing loss.
Aging doesn’t mean life stops. Rather, life becomes richer and more exciting! Because of outstanding technologies in the field of hearing devices, age-related hearing loss now involves invisible, powerful hearing aids that work effectively in the noisiest of restaurants, the most intricate of symphonies, and the biggest of parties!
So, if you’re ready to meet the aging process head-on, please give us a call at Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center in Southwest Florida. We have the most outstanding, experienced audiologists who adore their patients and deliver superb care! Yes, we want our patients to be excited about the life changing effect of their hearing aids. But, we also desire to develop long-term relationships with our patients and get to know them in order to best meet their needs. So, contact us today! We’d love to get to know you and find out how to best meet your hearing healthcare needs.