While nearly one-third of all people in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 75 have some degree of hearing loss, aging is not the only cause of this condition. Causes include:
- Exposure to loud noises
- Middle ear diseases
- Inner ear disorders
- Ototoxic medications
- Acoustic neuromas
- Physical head injury
Hearing in a Deafening World
New Yorker writer David Owen wrote a new book to educate readers about the importance of identifying what is causing your hearing loss and seeking treatment early. Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World is divided into sections relating to either the mechanics of hearing and sound or technologies that help you deal with hearing loss.
“Hearing problems are often aggravated by the human tendency to do nothing and hope for the best, usually while pretending that everything is fine,” explained Owen.
Hearing Dangers Are All Around
Attending rock concerts in your youth is not the only environmental cause of hearing loss. Walking by a construction worker jackhammering the sidewalk, listening to music through your earbuds at a high volume and using power tools, lawnmowers and leaf blowers without proper protection can all cause irreversible damage to your hearing.
Restaurants and bars are also major offenders. As the night goes on, many establishments turn up the background music to encourage less talking and more drinking.
“What’s remarkable is not that so many of us have trouble following conversations at cocktail parties but that anyone past adolescence can hear anything at all,” Owen stated.
Advances in Hearing Treatment
While Owen spends most of the book promoting protecting your hearing early, he explains, “There is no better time in all of human history to be a person with hearing loss.” Hearing loss treatments are constantly evolving. The features of digital hearing aids currently on the market include:
- Rechargeable technology
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Directional microphones