Peventing hearing loss or further hearing loss?

Hi! I’ve been curious as to what steps to take to prevent hearing loss once a person is wearing hearing aids. I assume that wearing a ear muff and insertable hearing mufflers would still be done say for mowing the lawn and things like that. When I realized I was experiencing hearing loss, I began to wear the ear muffs along with the insertable or in-the-ear hearing mufflers - all of these really blocks off the sound. How do people with hearing loss handle loud sounds - are there products, is there different advice or guidelines that are important to know?

As we age our hearing changes and we lose high frequencies, the best advice is protection from loud noises. Loud exhaust, band concerts, just normal big cities in general. Loud manufacturers, wearing earbuds with the volume too loud. But some of us will just lose our hearing because it is part of our heritage.

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If there are other options, I don’t know of them. I carry foam earplugs in my bag at all times in case I need them. You can get them custom made, but with hearing aids, not sure how that works. I make the mistake this year of going to an outdoor concert on July 4th fireworks with friends. The concert volume was mild - not a problem. But I realized too late that fireworks were set up in the field right next to us and I was stuck there. I put in my ear plugs, but felt extremely anxious the whole time about ear damage. All I could think of were all those people and little children already starting their journey toward hearing aids…

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In addition to protecting your ears from harmful noise, quit smoking, exercise, maintain good sleep habits, try to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. All the regular, boring stuff. :man_shrugging:

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For people with a profound loss who wear ear molds and bte aids just muting the aids provides excellent protection. But let’s be serious. What’s the point

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In addition to sound suggestions above … hearing occurs largely in the brain and is a recognition and interpretation of sensory input. Challenge yourself (your brain) with regard to your hearing which might mean many things: listen to audio books that dramatize different characters with narrator using different inflections; deliberately create some noise e.g. fan noise while listening to some audio so that you are challenged to pick out the voice(signal) that is most important to you; listen to complex music and pick out and follow the sound of a particular instrument or voice; etc.

While most of the time one should follow the rules/guidelines for improving your odds of hearing accurately e.g. where you sit in a restaurant; spending 5 minutes a day challenging and noticing how you are hearing (self observation) seems to be important. Like any other skill finding where your cutting edges are and challenging yourself at those edges could be helpful. Have someone read pairs of words that are often confused or listen to them e.g. s and sh discrimination class-clash. fashion-fasten

While not being in denial about the statistics of possible/likely progression of hearing challenges, let go expectations and negative self talk about how your hearing is. These inner attitudes can lead to confirmation bias and self fulfilling prophecies and unfortunately most people are predisposed to fulfill a negative self belief/expectation than they can create a virtuous cycle. Changing ones psychological and emotional disposition takes awareness and energy but is possible e.g. learned optimism (How Learned Optimism Can Improve Your Life as well as numerous TED talks (Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve | TED Talk). There are limits to everyone’s neuroplasticity but my hypothesis is that many people underestimate what is possible for themselves.

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@Edma … very interesting response! Thank you for the suggestions … rather goes along with my new found practice of listening to classical music and listening with more attention and awareness - great tips! Also, attitude can be key to so many things and I appreciate the reminder.