Posted on: August 8, 2018
Hearing loss is more prevalent among older populations. However, is hearing loss inevitable as we age? The answer is complicated. It’s true there are more instances of hearing loss in older people, but is this due to ageing itself or a lifetime of accumulated noise exposure. The answer is likely some of both.
A recent Swedish study published in the journal Age and Ageing found that the prevalence of hearing loss in older adults has been steadily decreasing for the past few decades. The decrease seemed to start when they implemented more strict and widespread hearing conservation programs to help protect people from noise exposure. This would seem to indicate that at least some portion of hearing loss as we get older is due to noise.
It’s not just noise at work either. Many recreational activities can damage our hearing as well. Concerts, festivals, fire works, power tools, lawn equipment, and traffic are just a few of the many sources of noise exposure in our lives. It is certainly possible that a lifetime of exposure to various noise sources has an impact on our hearing.
So what can be done? Protect your hearing as much as possible. Whether at work or play, use ear plugs whenever you are exposed to loud noise.
Now, this doesn’t mean that noise is the only source of hearing loss as we age, but it may play a bigger role than we thought. Hopefully future studies will start to parse out how much of age related hearing loss is due to noise and how much is due to other factors.
For more information or to book a hearing assessment please contact Accurate Hearing at one of our convenient locations:
Lower Sackville: 902-252-3004
Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327