Age-Related Hearing Loss: Can You Prevent it?
Written by Laura Abdulnour,
Age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis, is very common. It is characterized by a decrease in hearing ability with age. It generally starts in the mid-sixties but can begin as early as the forties. Statistics Canada reports that 40% of Canadians from 40 to 59 years old and 78% of Canadians from 60 to 79 years old have hearing loss.
How Does it Happen?
Age-related hearing loss happens when the cells inside the ear deteriorate and die. This type of cell does not regenerate. When a significant number of these cells die, the result is a hearing impairment.
Can You Prevent it?
Beware of Loud Noise Exposure
The biggest factor in hearing impairment prevention is managing loud noise exposure. Loud noise has the potential to damage inner ear cells in an irreversible way. Reducing loud noise exposure and wearing protective earplugs in noisy situations (concerts, while using heavy machinery, etc.) is very important to protect your ears and prevent the progression of age-related hearing loss.
Good Lifestyle Habits
Besides loud noise, lifestyle habits also have an impact on the incidence of presbycusis. A study found that diabetes seems to be a risk factor for hearing loss. Moreover, another study has shown that a history of smoking, higher body mass index, and high resting heart rate are linked to a higher risk of hearing loss.
Consequences of Genetic
Age-related hearing loss also has a genetic aspect. Indeed, some people are more prone to it than others. This doesn’t change the fact that good prevention habits can benefit everyone.
Practical Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss
- Always protect your ears in noisy situations.
- Be careful with your noise exposure (for example don’t listen to music too loudly).
- Avoid smoking
- Have good lifestyle habits to stay in good general health
If you have any questions, contact us! One of our professionals will be ready to help you.