Is it possible to prevent Hearing Loss?
Yes, Many of the different types of hearing loss are preventable?
At Hearing Care Professionals we know it is possible to prevent many types of hearing loss and to also slow down developing a hearing loss as you age.
There are many things you can do to preserve your hearing and reduce your chances of developing hearing loss over time. For those with hearing loss there are many things you can do to slow any additional hearing loss.
What factors affect your hearing?
Knowledge of the many factors that may affect your hearing is important. These factors are able to be modified and give you the opportunity to adjust aspects of your lifestyle to improve your quality of life and life expectancy.
1. Loud Noise
Excessively loud noise in the workplace, at home or while engaging in hobbies will damage your hearing. When we repeatedly expose ourselves to noise over time we increase our risk of hearing loss. 37% of hearing loss in Australia is caused by preventable noise exposure.
The take home message is its how long you listen to sound as well as how loud the sound is that is important in determining how much sound is too much? Sound is important as it enriches our lives with the many sounds of life!
In general, it has been found that individuals who are more prone to stress are more likely to develop temporary hearing loss than
those who are less stress-prone when presented with the same amount of noise exposure.
Over half the Australian population between the ages of 60 and 70 have a hearing loss. This increases to more than 70% of those over age 70 and 80% of those over the age of 80%. Hearing loss happens for different reasons. Not least all the effects of the factors discussed here.
4. Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
Poor cardiovascular health and diabetes are strongly associated with poor hearing. Cardiovascular health is associated with the peripheral and central auditory systems, including cognitive ability into advanced age. A restriction of blood supply can compound other damaging influences including noise exposure.The effect of cardiovascular disease on hearing occurs in even young adults with early onset cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes is a micro vascular disease which leads to hearing loss due to the decreased blood flow and supply to the inner ear.
What can you do about preserving your hearing?
Exercise is the medicine for health and hearing. If you want to preserve your hearing you need to exercise!
Not just any exercise, only exercise that results in improvement in CV health and caloric energy expenditure which is walking and moderate aerobic exercise.
The good news is that the cardiovascular system is plastic just like the hearing system. Both your cardiovascular and hearing systems change for the better as a result of a positive lifestyle intervention, regardless of age.
Warning: If you want to exercise or walk to the sound of music, keep the volume at a level where you can hear someone within arms reach speaking to you. You don’t want to get hearing loss from noise exposure while you are improving your cardiovascular fitness.
Pay attention to your body weight
Find ways to reduce stress in your life and increase your ability to stay calm regardless of your personality
I have a hearing loss, is there anything else I can do to hear better?
It starts with technology. It is normal to hear and with today’s technology it is possible to hear well and live your life well.
Effective hearing goes hand in hand with high social engagement which in turn leads to maintained cognitive functioning as we age. If you do not maintain high social engagement then sound deprivation may occur which in turn can lead to cognitive decline. To keep the brain active it is important to stay connected with the outside world and maintain your independence.
What has my hearing got to do with my brain?
We hear with our brain. It is in our brain that if we don’t use it, we lose it!
Speech understanding in a noisy environment declines over time, unless you play a musical instrument or practice your listening skills. It has been found that those who play musical instruments early in life have good understanding of speech in later life.
The good news is with practice we can improve our ability to understand speech when there is background noise. If we practice this skill before we believe we have a hearing loss we can slow down if not stop hearing impairment. Learn more about our listening programs.