When someone realizes that their hearing is declining, it’s only natural to want to understand why. Should we have heeded our mother’s advice and turned down “that loud music” or could something else be causing the issue like an earwax buildup or, possibly, even an infection? If you are facinghearing loss, there may be a number of factors contributing to the situation.
Age and Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, one of the most common culprits of hearing loss is age. Age-related hearing loss may gradually or quite severely reduce your ability to hear. This type of hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is a permanent condition, and it may likely have absolutely nothing to do with the music you listened to or the amount of noise you’ve been subjected to over the years. In this condition, it’s the nerves and cells of the ear that simply change as a result of the aging process.
The Effects of Loud Noise
Loud music, factory noise, motorcycles–being subjected to loud noise repetitively can, indeed (you were right Mom), result in gradual hearing decline. In fact, many professional musicians suffer from hearing problems because of a career standing in front of blaring amplifiers. Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne, and Phil Collins have suffered hearing loss, and it’s quite likely that concert-goers have suffered some hearing damage by opting for seats near the speakers.
Of course, it’s not just loud music that can damage our hearing. Working in conditions with constant noise can also harm our ears and could lead to gradual or, possibly, immediate hearing changes. Research suggests that even common chores like mowing the grass can impact our hearing.
While age and noise are the two main reasons for hearing loss, other factors could be involved. For example, earwax buildup could reduce hearing. Removing the earwax should resolve the problem, but too often people try to remove deep earwax themselves, injuring their ear and, possibly, their ability to hear. Some medications and infections can also affect the ear and result in hearing loss.
If you are experiencing hearing decline, your talk to your healthcare provider about the root causes. Understanding how your hearing has been affected may lead you to hearing solution that is ideal for you.