4 tips for addressing hearing loss early: Avoid Brain Damage

Woman doctor fitting a senior man with hearing aid in bed

4 Tips for Addressing Hearing Loss Early: Prevent Brain Damage

Hearing loss can be a devastating experience. It affects hearing and other aspects of life as well, including relationships and the ability to interact with family members. Many hearing loss patients suffer from depression due to their hearing problems which can also make it difficult for them to get out and about or even enjoy life.

If hearing loss isn’t addressed early on, it can lead to more hearing difficulties in the future and even brain damage. This blog post will discuss four ways you can help prevent hearing loss from turning into brain damage and give you and your loved one peace of mind.

What is Hearing Loss?  

Hearing loss is when your ability to hear is reduced. The worse your hearing gets, the more difficult communication becomes and the less likely you will identify what’s going on around you. Hearing loss shouldn’t go untreated because it could cause other health issues such as dementia or depression later in life.

What are the types of hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss are the two main types of hearing loss.

Additionally, there are also mixed hearing losses, which are both sensorineural and conductive. Hearing loss may also be sudden, asymmetrical, or hidden. A hearing loss may also be bilateral or unilateral.

What is sensorineural hearing loss?

A sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. Age-related hearing loss, also known as Presbyacusis, is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. So is noise-induced hearing loss, which is a permanent hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to high noise levels.

What is conductive hearing loss?

Hearing loss resulting from conductive hearing is when the inner ear can’t transmit sound to the outer ear through the middle ear.

4 Tips for Addressing Hearing Loss Early

It’s never too early to address hearing loss. Hearing problems in seniors are becoming more common, and that’s a significant concern for many medical professionals. 

As we age and hearing worsens, the chance of brain damage also increases; this means it’s essential to take hearing protection seriously at all ages!

While hearing aids are great, they don’t always provide the best results – especially if hearing loss is advanced. Addressing hearing loss early can help prevent hearing loss from turning into brain damage.

1. Protect your ears when you’re around loud noises

Being around loud noises like concerts or lawnmowers can cause hearing loss and hearing damage. Even short-term exposure to loud noises can cause significant hearing problems later on in life.

It’s essential for seniors, especially those who suffer from hearing issues, to take precautions when they’re around loud noises, as hearing protection will be necessary.

2. Wear earplugs while using power tools or doing yardwork 

While hearing loss can be caused by several everyday sounds, including lawnmowers and even power tools, hearing damage is typically the result of long-term exposure to loud noises. Seniors who spend time doing yard work or using power tools should always wear hearing protection.

Many different hearing protection devices are available, including earmuffs and foam inserts that can be inserted into the ears to prevent audio leakage. We recommend wearing hearing protection around loud noises that last more than 2 hours to avoid having hearing issues later on down the line.

3. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

In a study done by WebMD- Smoking Can Increase Risk of Hearing Loss in Nonsmokers.

In the study, 14% of former smokers who had been exposed to tobacco smoke by others were more likely to have impaired hearing in low to mid frequencies.

The study also found that more than 46% of these former smokers exposed to secondhand smoke had high-frequency hearing loss, which can make speech sound muffled. Researchers say although the risk of hearing loss was not as substantial among people who had never smoked, nearly one in 10 people in that group, or 8.6%, had low- to mid-frequency hearing loss, and 26% had high-frequency hearing loss.

Secondhand Smoke Risks Hearing Loss. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=122203

4. Avoid listening to music at high volumes or using headphones

Avoid devices that block outside noises. This will prevent hearing loss from turning into brain damage.

Beyond Hearing

The purpose of our ears is obviously to hear. But, our ears are also heavily involved in our sense of balance. The ear canals in our ears are lined with tiny, near-microscopic hairs.

When we move our heads, the fluid inside the head shifts around, this movement sends impulses to the brain through the vestibular nerve, part of the vestibulocochlear cranial nerve.

Hearing Loss and Brain Atrophy

The link between hearing loss and dementia has been definitively established. Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph. D., and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia.

When the brain works hard to hear, it may tap into other areas, such as those that are associated with memory.

Keeping this in mind, it isn’t hard to see how hearing loss could eventually lead to walking difficulties and possible falls. Losing hearing makes your brain work harder to process sound. Due to this, your brain has less subconscious processing power to acknowledge that you’re walking safely.

Conclusion

It is essential to understand that you can take action before your hearing loss progresses. You need to be aware of the different types and how they may affect your life. Don’t wait for definitive tests or changes in lifestyle habits if you believe that something might not suit your ears- do them now! 

Treatments like cochlear implants, which bypass the damaged portions of your ear to deliver sound directly into your inner ear, may be needed in some cases. Protecting your hearing is essential. Regularly treating yourself to some silence will help you maintain the health of your ears and head for years to come.

If you have an emergency or you require medical assistance, dial 911 or consult a medical physician. If you or a loved one is in need of a home care aide, contact Lindas Care Home Care for a free consultation or Contact us Today.

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