Ear Health As We Age
After just sitting down with a lovely fruit smoothie on a beautiful summer day, just having returned from a morning walk through the neighborhood, your young adult daughter yells out to you from the other room. “What dear?” She repeats herself, but you respond again with “Sorry, I can’t hear you, can you speak up?” Yes, of course, sometimes people talk softly, but in the past you would have heard her the first time she called to you. Suddenly, it hits you. My hearing seems to be diminishing. Lately it seems you’ve had to ask several times for people to speak up or repeat themselves. Well, this leaves you pondering, there has to me something wrong with me, right?
Actually, this could all be a very normal, part of the aging process. After we hit about 50 years of age, our hearing does in fact decline. So do not worry one bit. You can exercise daily, be a healthy eater, have no apparent health conditions, etc. and yet you still experience hearing loss to some extent.
No, seriously there must be something wrong with me!
No, not at all.
What does hearing loss mean anyways?
While there may be additional reasons for hearing loss, we are going to focus specifically on age-related loss throughout this post. According to statistical data, one in every three of us will experience hearing loss due to aging. When the parts of our inner ear are permanently damaged, we experience trouble hearing. Most times, it’s caused by the changes in the inner ear, but could also be from changes in the nerves that connect to the brain and ear. The changes, most often, take place in both ears. Each person will experience loss to a different severity depending on a number of factors. Below are some reasons why one may experience age- related hearing loss:
- Genetic predisposition- There are hereditary factors that causes some individuals to lose their hearing more quickly or at a younger age than their peers. In other words, it’s their genes that cause one to be more susceptible to hearing loss. Approximately 35-55% of age- related hearing loss is genetic. With that said, it’s important to keep this in mind and not be too hard on yourself! We can’t always control how our genes are expressed.
- Repeated exposure to loud noises- This occurrence can either be from constant exposure to loud music or noises in general over one’s lifetime. It’s actually very common for age-related hearing loss to happen because of loud noise exposure. Maybe you’ve worked with machinery at your job that has taken a toll on the ears. The older we get, the more we see the past exposure to loudness start to show up in detrimental ways when it comes to hearing. When this occurs, sensory hair cells in the ear become damaged and don’t regenerate.
- Smoking- If you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, more likely than not, you’re not a smoker nor have ever been, but maybe you know someone who is. This information could be hugely beneficial for them if they’re trying to understating why their hearing may be declining. It’s been reported that smokers are more likely than non-smoking individuals to develop hearing loss. While this does depend on other predispositions and factors, smoking certainly isn’t helping at all!
Alright, now we have a handle on age- related hearing loss, so let’s dive a little further into ear health and what we can do to keep our ears as healthy as we can.
- Clean Regularly. Maintaining a daily ear care routine to prevent ear wax build up, is a simple preventative step. Daily, we should clean our ears with a cotton swap after showering. Our aim here is to keep the ears free of wax, which will ensure no extra troubles when it comes to hearing. The Kyrosol ear wax remover and softener drops, featured as part of our product offering, are great homeopathic, easy remedies to keep the ears wax-free. Additionally, using our vegan, hand-crafted, Ear Candles induces relaxation and is best included as a frequent part of your healthcare routines for best results. It serves as a preventative measure for any infections and inflammation, which again remember we want clean, debris-free listening ears!
- Keep up with wellness visits- Its highly encouraged to see your health practitioner once a year, just to make sure your amazing body is running at its optimal levels. During the visit, they’ll check your ears as a step of prevention. Having them checked can never hurt!
- Hearing aids- While you may not be at a stage necessary for purchasing hearing aids, it’s important to keep in mind for years down the road. These instruments that are worn either in or behind the ear and make sounds louder. Using these take time to get used to and are more of a trial and error experiment until you find the right ones. Like mentioned, you may not need these now, but just something to think about for later in life.
- Cochlear implants- During a cochlear implant procedure, devices are implanted in the inner ear where a sense of sound is provided for severe cases. This may never be something you have to consider, but again a great option for some people as they age!
- Take a new approach- When engaging in conversation with people, watch facial ques, learn read lips and ask people to slow down their speech. Sometimes just hearing something at a slower rate can make a huge difference in your ear’s ability to completely hear a sound.
The worst thing you can do is to ignore hearing loss. Embrace it, but continue to laugh, talk and engage in conversations with your friends and family just as you normally would.
Remember that you are healthy and by taking good care of yourself, you are better off than others your age who may not be living a healthy lifestyle. So, keep up the good work!
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