Aging is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, “develops and is exacerbated by various factors, including heredity, medical disease and environmental factors.”
While some of these factors aren’t preventable, there are steps seniors can take to help protect their hearing.
Limit Exposure To Loud Noise
Next to aging, exposure to loud noise is another leading cause of hearing loss. This can happen from a very loud burst, but more commonly occurs from exposure to loud noise over time. Any sounds louder than 85 decibels can damage your hearing. In order to protect your ears, try several things:
- Use hearing protection like earplugs, earmuffs or custom earmolds when taking part in loud activities
- Listen to music and TV at a moderate volume
- Purchase home appliances that have low noise ratings
- Step away from loud environments from time to time to give your ears a break
Be Careful When Cleaning Your Ears
Our ears actually do a pretty good job of cleaning themselves and knowing how much earwax to produce. While it’s completely fine to gently clean the outside of your ear with a washcloth avoid using cotton swabs or anything else that you stick in your ear. Doing so can actually push earwax further back into your ear canal and cause impaction, muffled hearing, tinnitus and potential injury.
Manage Any Other Health Conditions
Conditions like heart disease and diabetes can damage the blood vessels of your inner ear and lead to hearing loss if they are not well controlled. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you are managing them with a healthy diet, proper exercise, taking needed medications and having regular checkups with your primary care provider.
Schedule a Hearing Test at the First Sign of Hearing Loss
If you’ve noticed that you’re needing people to speak up more frequently or have had friends or loved ones comment on your hearing, make an appointment for a hearing test. These evaluations are a quick and painless way to gain insight into the cause and severity of any hearing loss you may be experiencing.
Hearing aids are the most common form of treatment for hearing loss. By using them or any other recommended assisted listening devices you can comfortably navigate your surroundings and stay connected and engaged when talking with family members or taking an arts and crafts class at the Marion Franklin Community Center.
If you would like more information or wish to schedule a hearing test, call the experts at Columbus Speech and Hearing today.