Hearing loss is one of the most common progressive conditions in the US with more than 80 million people suffering in some way or another. Although hearing loss is associated with aging, getting older isn’t the only driver. You could be losing your hearing for a bunch of reasons, some of which are downright weird.
The purpose of this article is to both educate and entertain. We’ll talk about the common reasons why you’re likely to lose your hearing, as well as some of the lesser-known causes. Let’s jump right in.
You Have A Habit Of Walking Next To Jet Engines
If somebody asked you what the loudest thing in our civilization was (outside of a laboratory), what would you say? Chances are you’d say pneumatic drills, festival music, or construction sites. But perhaps the loudest commonly experienced “thing” is jet engines. The reason they’re so loud is how they process air: air gets sucked in and then blasted out the other side at frightening velocities, causing crackling and rippling in the fabric of the air, leading to continuous loud bangs.
Jet engines are seriously loud. Audiologists say that people should not listen to noises louder than 85 decibels for an extended period. Sounds louder than 120 decibels are powerful enough to cause immediate damage to the ear. Jet engines produce 140+ decibels, underscoring just how loud these devices are.
So, if you’re one of those people who shuffles luggage onto planes or has a habit of traveling to destinations where you have to walk onto the runway before boarding the plane, then wear ear protection. Earbuds should suffice.
You Like Listening To Music With The Volume On Max
Music is like chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is deadly to the lungs. But when armies have used it in war, they’ve deliberated put additives in it to make it smell nice, encouraging people to inhale deeply. Music is similar: it sounds terrific, so people are incentivized to turn it up to full volume. But just as chlorine gas damages the lungs, loud music hurts the ears.
Music is one of the reasons so many people attend the audiologist for fitting and programming of their devices. It’s surprisingly easy to listen to loud music on high volume for a long period of time. Music encourages you to listen longer than you would for generic loud noises, like the sound coming off a building site or out of the subway station.
You Got Hit In The Head
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think about head injuries? Brain damage? Concussion? Internal bleeding?
It turns out that head injury is one of the leading causes of hearing loss in people under the age of 40. Head injuries not only damage the delicate machinery of the middle ear but can also destroy parts of the brain responsible for processing auditory information. Head injuries, therefore, can result in hearing loss even when there is no visible damage to the ear itself.