What age can hearing loss occur?
PUBLISHED: 15:05 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 16 May 2019
It is a common misconception that only the older generations are at risk of hearing loss, whereas the reality is that it tends to begin gradually and can start from as young as the age of 25. Hearing loss has various different causes and doesn't discriminate when it comes to age.
Regular hearing checks are vital
Your hearing can deteriorate from as young as the age of 25 for men and 30 for women. When it comes to something as delicate and important as your hearing, it's vital that you go for regular hearing assessments. Having your hearing checked regularly will help monitor your hearing and pick up on any changes sooner rather than later.
As you age, hearing loss is more likely to become an issue. More than 40% of the people over the age of 50 have some form of hearing loss - this number then increases to 71% for those that are 70 and over.
Why hearing loss occurs
As we age, the hair cells within our ear can become damaged. These hair cells act as receptors that help in converting sound waves into electrical pulses that the brain then reads as sound. Hair cells cannot regrow, so as they become damaged either through natural ageing, wax build-up or overexposure to loud noises, hearing loss can occur.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
Hearing loss is not only affected by age or infection - it can also be caused by excessive exposure to loud noise. Any sounds over 85db that are heard for extended periods of time can permanently damage the hair cells within the ear and cause hearing loss. NIHL can affect any person of any age, so keeping your ears safe with hearing protection and keeping volumes at a reasonable level where possible is important in preventing hearing loss at a young age.
Prevent, protect and manage
You can protect your hearing in a variety of different ways, including good quality hearing protection such as ear plugs or defenders. Although we would always recommend custom moulded ear plugs for maximum comfort, even the disposal foam ear plugs are useful for short term protection for your ears.
Turning down the volume on your headphones, TV or radio, practising good ear hygiene to prevent infection, professional ear wax removal (when necessary) and attending regular hearing checks will also all help your hearing last a lifetime.
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