Everybody wants to stay youthful for as long as they can. We spend countless hours trying everything possible to stay youthful. From special diets to gym memberships to Botox to wrinkle creams. And yet, even with all that effort (and all those hours), we tend to avoid doing one simple thing that might really work: wearing ear protection.
Hearing loss is often one of those “signs of aging” that we tend to consider to be inevitable. But it’s not that easy. By protecting your ears (and treating them with a bit of kindness along the way), you can help avoid harm and keep your hearing in good condition. And good hearing can have considerable anti-aging benefits as time goes by.
Aging And Hearing
The actual passage of time is not normally what we are describing when we talk about aging. Instead, “aging” usually describes the appearance of certain physical, mental, or emotional attributes that we associate with getting older. A perfect example of this is joint pain. When your knees begin to bother you, you might relate that with “growing old”. But it’s not age alone that leads to the problem (your daily 5-mile run could have something to do with it, too).
Many kinds of hearing loss fall under this category. As you age, damage builds up. The build-up of damage, in most situations, is the actual cause of hearing deterioration. And that’s when the problems can start to grow out of control. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to several other signs of aging:
- Occasionally, problems such as insomnia and loss of memory, can be initiated by the cognitive strain of trying to hear. And, in an especially profound way, that can make you feel like you are aging.
- Studies have shown a robust link between untreated hearing loss, anxiety, and depression.
- Untreated hearing loss could cause you to isolate yourself from family or friends.
- The onset of mental problems, including dementia, can sometimes be hastened by ignored or undetected hearing loss.
So How do I Overcome Age-Related Hearing Loss?
When you fight the “signs of aging” in your ears, you’re really placing an emphasis on controlling damage. And thankfully, there are quite a few ways to accomplish that. For example, you can:
- Steer clear of loud noises as much as possible. If you have to expose yourself to loud noise, wear hearing protection. So when you go see that concert with your favorite musician, be sure to wear earplugs.
- If you happen to work in a somewhat noisy environment, wear hearing protection. With modern high quality ear muffs, loud noises are eliminated while you can still hear people speaking clearly.
- Increase your awareness. It’s not only the painfully loud sounds that can cause damage. Moderate noise for longer periods of time can cause injury to your ears, too.
All of these steps will help protect your hearing. But there’s one more action you can take to keep your hearing in good shape: schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam. Making sure you undergo hearing tests with regular frequency can help you catch hearing loss before it’s even perceptible. Even if your hearing is perfectly normal, an exam will still be capable of providing a useful baseline to compare against future results.
Keep Your Ears Healthy by Wearing Hearing Aids
The world we live in can be loud. Even with your best effort to protect your hearing, you still may ultimately detect some hearing loss. You need to get help right away if you do detect any symptoms of hearing loss. Some of the age related issues associated with hearing loss can be avoided with a quality pair of hearing aids.
You could maybe think of hearing aids as a facelift for your ears: something to allow your ears to work a little more youthfully. And dementia, depression, and other issues can be avoided. The analogy isn’t perfect, because hearing aids are essential and a facelift isn’t, but you get the point. Wrinkle creams may help you look younger. But if you actually want to combat aging and feel somewhat more youthful, your best bet is to protect your hearing and treat your hearing loss.