The Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is a common problem. It affects approximately one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 years of age. It may not be a life-threatening condition. But, it can affect one’s quality of life. It can come from many factors that may or may not be avoidable. We’re going to take a look at some of these factors so you can have a better idea of your hearing health as you age.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Repeated exposure to loud noises may be the most common cause of age-related hearing loss. It is the one that is the most avoidable. Noise-induced hearing loss can come from exposure to intense sounds like an explosion. It is more common to have hearing loss from repeated exposure to loud noises over a period of time. Someone who works on in construction or woodworking might spend a lot of time around loud noises. The machines in use on the job might not seem that loud to them, but they still emit sounds at 80 to 100 decibels. Any sound louder than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. For reference, a normal face-to-face conversation usually tops off at 70 decibels. Over time, exposure to these kinds of sounds will lead to some degree of hearing loss.
Other Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss
Exposure to loud noises is not the only thing that can cause age-related hearing loss. Other factors include high blood pressure and diabetes. These are more common in older adults. Certain medications can also damage the ears’ sensory cells and lead to hearing loss. Again, these are problems exclusive to older adults, but they are more common in those over the age of 65. Hearing loss can also be a hereditary problem. Speak to a hearing specialist if hearing loss is something that tends to run in your family.
Most cases of age-related hearing loss come from a combination of different factors. Someone who has spent most of their adult life working in a noisy factory will have some hearing loss. It could be worse if you have high blood pressure and other factors that are more common in older adults.
When to Speak to a Hearing Specialist
Age-related hearing loss tends to develop over time. Many people are unaware that they have a hearing problem at all. Still, there are some signs to look for that could show some degree of hearing loss. These include having a hard time with conversations and not being able to distinguish an “s” and a “th” sound. If you find certain sounds to be loud and have ringing in your ears, it’s time to get checked out. Contact a hearing specialist if you’ve noticed any of these signs.
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Age-related hearing loss can affect your quality of life. If you have hearing loss or want more information, contact Atkins Hearing Center. We are here for all your hearing care needs.