Hearing Loss: Why Does Hearing Deteriorate As We Get Older?
Hearing loss is a common problem that affects many older adults. Here’s what you need to know about your hearing as you age.
Aging certainly has some positive side effects – wisdom gained from life experience, or rich relationships with family and friends.
Unfortunately, growing older can also lead to the deterioration of certain physical systems like hearing. As we age, our ears undergo changes that can lead to a decline in our ability to hear.
Primary Causes of Most Age-Related Hearing Loss
One major cause of age-related hearing loss is the natural deterioration of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that our brain can understand. As we get older, these hair cells can become damaged or die, leading to a decrease in our ability to hear. Unfortunately, once the cells are gone they don’t regenerate, so the resulting hearing loss is usually permanent.
Another factor that can contribute to age-related hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. Over time, exposure to loud noises can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. People who have worked in loud environments, such as construction or manufacturing, may be more likely to experience age-related hearing loss.
Some Secondary Contributors to Hearing Loss in Old Age
In addition to these physical causes, age-related hearing loss can also be caused by certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. These conditions can affect the blood flow to the ears, leading to hearing loss.
What You Should Do When You Recognize Hearing Loss
While age-related hearing loss is common, it is not inevitable. By protecting our ears from loud noises, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular hearing screenings, you can help reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it's important to see a hearing care professional for a hearing assessment.
At Beltone, we treat each patient as the unique individual they are, and we have a solution that can turn the volume back up on the sounds you want to hear.