Hearing Health: Factors that May Affect Your Hearing

While hearing loss is commonly associated with aging, it does not affect all people over the age of 65. In fact, a myriad of factors could affect people’s hearing no matter their age. Both young adults and children suffer from hearing loss. 

Read on to discover more about hearing health and the factors that may affect your hearing.

Environmental Factors

Your environment, particularly your exposure to loud noise, can affect your risk of hearing loss. Noise pollution raises the risk of hearing loss and inner ear damage. The inner ear can be permanently damaged over time as a result of repeated noise exposure, or it can be permanently damaged in an instant as a result of an extremely loud sound.

Genetics and Hearing loss

Second, your genes and traits are passed down from your parents. NOX3 is a brand-new gene. In mice, variations in this gene have been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss. More research is required to determine the role of this gene in hearing loss. It is critical to understand your family history because it is a well-known risk factor for hearing loss.

Aging (Presbycusis)

Aging has a number of consequences. Presbycusis is a type of age-related hearing loss that affects the majority of people over the age of 60, particularly those over the age of 70. It is the leading cause of hearing loss.

The cochlea and the nerve pathways that connect it to the brain are especially prone to 'wear and tear.'

It usually reduces hearing sensitivity to higher-pitched sounds, impairing speech comprehension, especially in difficult listening environments like background noise. Tinnitus is a very common condition.

Excessive Noise

Excessive noise exposure is the second most common cause of hearing loss. Loud noises can be harmful to the cochlea's sensitive sensory cells (hair cells). The longer or louder the noise, or the longer the exposure, the greater the chance of permanent hearing loss caused by tinnitus.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is no longer associated solely with loud jobs or concerts. Noise pollution caused by loud music played on smartphones or other personal devices is becoming more irreversible. NIHL is now affecting people in their twenties and thirties.

Cardiovascular Disease

Hearing loss associated with aging is influenced by cardiovascular disease. It happens when the blood supply to the inner ear or the brain's hearing centers is significantly reduced or stopped completely. Reduced blood supply to the inner ear's cochlea can cause irreversible damage.

Arteriosclerosis (artery hardening), hypertension, thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack can all cause permanent hearing loss.

Genetic

Congenital hearing loss does not occur in all cases of hereditary or genetic hearing loss. Usher's Syndrome, a progressive vision and hearing loss syndrome, is an example of genetic hearing loss that manifests late in life.

While it is difficult to establish genetics as a cause of hearing loss, it is believed that some people are more susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss than others.

Dementia

Untreated/unassisted hearing loss is clearly associated with cognitive decline and dementia, despite ongoing research. Hearing loss that develops on its own may hasten the onset of cognitive decline and dementia.

The consequences of failing to seek professional help for hearing loss may be more severe than the hearing loss itself, putting a person at risk of developing additional mental health problems.

Conclusion

Regrettably, some of these factors cannot be changed. Thus, you must consider wearing hearing protection and avoid jobs and activities that expose you to loud noises if you have a family history of hearing loss. You must also schedule regular hearing tests to detect it early. Take care of your ears so you can continue to enjoy life through the beauty of music and sounds.

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Hearing Guide > Hearing Health: Factors that May Affect Your Hearing