Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions affecting older adults, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In the U.S., it is estimated that one-third of people over age 65, and half of those over 85, have some hearing loss.
The hearing loss that affects people as they age is caused by a number of factors. Prolonged exposure to loud noise is included, but this only just scratches the surface.
From a personal viewpoint, my deafness does mainly appear to have been caused by listening to loud music back in the day – before anyone told us not to. However, my hearing was made worse after wax buildup and removal.
Read more: Who is at risk for age-related hearing loss?
According to The National Institute for Aging, people with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family, as well as have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.
Medical News Today lists some diseases or circumstances that can cause deafness:
Considering the above list isn’t by any means exhaustive, this just shows that those who have hearing loss have no need to reproach themselves. If we are having to contend with inherited ailments and disease, not to mention volume induced loss, is it any wonder that those experiencing these disabilities are so often confused as to where they came from?
Read more: Hearing Loss
To learn what caused other adults’ hearing loss, I asked members of a UK Hearing Loss Community on Facebook what caused their later onset hearing loss.
The answers, which follow in the members’ own words, just might surprise you. I know they did for me.
As you can see from the examples I’ve shown here, there really is so much more to hearing loss than loud noises and bad headphone management.
“There really is so much more to hearing loss than loud noises and bad headphone management.”
This is why it’s so important to get your hearing tested if you have trouble hearing. It’s all too easy to assume that if you’ve never listened to loud music or been exposed to noise at high decibels, that hearing loss could never happen to you.
Quite simply, hearing loss can happen – and does to approximately 15% of the world’s adult population.
Read more: Why treat age-related hearing loss?
We should allow ourselves to be open to the reality that hearing loss is only the symptom presenting itself and not the cause.
Thinking of it this way may let us be more open to the way this disability affects others and how we may begin to understand hearing loss a little better.
What was the cause of your hearing loss? Let us know in the comments, or join the discussion on Facebook.