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How You Lose Your Hearing As You Age

Posted Nov 28 2012 9:00am

The following is a guest post from John O'Connor.

Hearing loss is one of the symptoms of aging.  It should not be taken for granted.  This dysfunction of the hearing organs can be dangerous.  It can also be prevented.

How can hearing loss affect your life?

Sometimes, hearing loss is just a nuisance.  It may cause you to miss out on conversations with family and friends.  However, it becomes more than a nuisance when say you cannot understand your doctor over the phone or it can be downright dangerous if you cannot hear a car coming .  You should take note of the signs of hearing loss and do what you can to prevent it. Hearing loss is not completely inevitable as you age.

Signs of hearing loss

Many people do not notice when they begin to lose their hearing.  You should become concerned about your hearing if you have trouble following conversations or ask people to repeat themselves often.  The first sign may be that you turn up the TV volume louder than before.  Many people notice trouble hearing when the background noise interferes with their comprehension of a conversation.  They may feel like everyone else is mumbling.

Preventing hearing loss

A certain amount of hearing loss cannot be prevented.  This may have to do with your genetic background or it may just be a consequence of the delicate machinery in your ear wearing down.  However, this natural loss of hearing can be exacerbated by environment, lifestyle and illnesses.

Loud noise is one of the biggest culprits of hearing loss.  An increasing number of young people in their twenties and thirties are reporting problems with their hearing.  Doctors believe that this may be caused by exposure to loud music.  One way to preserve your hearing for as long as possible is to avoid loud music as much as possible.

Damage to your hearing can also come from improper care of the ears.  Simple ear wax buildup can cause hearing loss over time.  Inserting things in your ears can also cause damage.  You should keep your ears clean without ever doing anything that might damage the delicate tissues deep inside your ear.

Disease is another factor in hearing loss.  Bacteria and viruses can damage the inner ear.  It is important to get treatment for these conditions as soon as possible in order to protect your ability to hear.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are a few different types of hearing loss and hearing complications. Presbycusis is the kind of hearing loss that is simply due to aging. It happens slowly and is often unnoticeable until it becomes profound. It results from damage to the nerves inside the ear. It can be exacerbated by injury, illness or loud noise.

Tinnitus is a condition that interferes with hearing rather than reduces it. People with tinnitus hear a constant sound in one or both ears. It may sound like a distant whine or loud crackling. Each case is different. There are no cures for this condition.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when outside factors prevent good hearing. This might be due to earwax buildup or fluid trapped in the ears. These problems can usually be cured without damaging the hearing.

A hearing aid or hearing aids can help reduce the effects of hearing loss.  Being conscious about hearing loss as you age and making some simple lifestyle changes can be beneficial in the long run. 

John O'Connor has been passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and hearing loss. His father and grandfathers are affected by hearing loss.

"I feel their is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is out job to spread awareness where we can.  Check out my new blog at"!

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