Around 15 percent of adults in the US have to deal with some degree of hearing loss.
According to conventional wisdom, partially losing your hearing is a sure sign that you’re getting older. So does research back this up? Are baby boomers more prone to hearing loss?
What Are Your Chances of Hearing Damage?
Statistics tell us that around 2 percent of people aged 45 to 54 have to deal with a significant degree of hearing damage. In an age range between 55 and 64, your chances of hearing loss rise to 8.5 percent. It affects almost a quarter of people older than 64 and younger than 75.
In short, your hearing is likely to get worse with age. Baby boomers, or people over fifty, are at a much higher risk of hearing loss than younger generations. It’s important to note that gender and ethnicity are significant factors as well. For example, men are twice likely as women to lose their hearing.
But how does aging damage our hearing?
Why Are Baby Boomers More Prone to Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can happen because of an illness or an inherited disorder. But many people suffer from hearing loss simply because of prolonged exposure to noise.
Age-related hearing loss is called presbycusis and it happens to everyone to some extent.
The main source for hearing damage for healthy adults comes from the sensory hair cells in the inner ear. These get less sensitive over time and exposure to noise, and they simply stop reacting to soft sounds.
Baby-boomers with jobs in construction, manufacturing, agriculture or the service industry are at an especially high risk.
Once your sensory hair cells are damaged, you can’t cure them. Thus, your best options are to get a hearing aid or hearing implant. If you have a mild form of hearing loss, you should look into preventive measures.