Whether you are winding down a long career or just beginning to put together your retirement plan, it’s never too soon to factor your hearing into your retirement. The simple fact is that as we age, our hearing becomes increasingly vulnerable to significant hearing loss and hearing loss can take a big toll on your health and quality of life.
All along the road to retirement, opportunities exist to protect your hearing and prepare for maintaining your hearing health. Knowing how to care for your hearing and planning for hearing issues can make sure you get the most from your retirement.
As we age, our hearing becomes significantly more susceptible to hearing loss. This is due to a few factors. First, gradual permanent damage done to our hearing throughout our life can accrue into hearing loss. Also, as we age, the delicate parts of our inner ear become increasingly fragile making them more vulnerable to permanent damage. Combined, these issues make hearing loss increasingly likely to occur as we get older.
Rates of age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, ramp up the older we become. One in three people over the age of 65 experience hearing loss. Once we pass the milestone of our 75th birthday, that risk of hearing loss increases to 50%. After the age of 75 the risk of hearing loss spikes – at the age of 90, nearly 90% of the population has hearing loss. Being prepared for retirement means having a plan for aging, which has to consider hearing health as part of our total care.
You’ve got a bright future ahead, so don’t let hearing loss slow you down. Untreated hearing loss can put a dent in your plans, affecting your physical and mental health as well s your quality of life. Hearing loss has been linked to depression, anxiety and social isolation, keeping us from the people and activities we love most. The cognitive strain placed on the brain by hearing loss has been linked to increased rates of accidental falling and may encourage the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Protecting our hearing and treating hearing loss helps minimize the impact of hearing loss and keeps us active and engaged as we age.
A big part of keeping our hearing healthy as we get older is knowing how to protect the hearing we have from damage. Most hearing loss is caused by exposure to dangerously loud noises that incur small permanent damage to our hearing system. A lifetime of gradual damage accumulates into significant hearing loss, but protecting our hearing throughout our life can help keep hearing loss at bay.
Avoid loud noises in your everyday life. You should be protecting your hearing from any sounds over 85 decibels and especially from very loud sounds over 100 dB. If you work in a loud environment, such as jobs with heavy machinery or loud music, protect your hearing whenever you are working.
Budget For Hearing Aids
Part of planning for retirement should be a budget for hearing care. Hearing aids are costly, but they are an investment in your health and communication that pays off in the long run. Hearing aids help us stay engaged with the world and the people we care about. Treating hearing loss also lessens other potential health expenses by reducing health risks.
When thinking about a budget for hearing aids, consider that depending on the degree of hearing loss and your lifestyle needs, hearing aids can cost between $1000-$4000 per device. Though expensive, quality hearing aids make a huge difference in your ability to hear the world around you and more than pay for themselves in the long run.
Establish Your Hearing Health Care
If you haven’t seen an audiologist regularly, now is a good time to start. Even if you don’t currently have significant hearing loss, an annual hearing exam can detect problems and changes to your hearing as they arise. Hearing loss is easier to treat the earlier it is addressed, so establishing regular hearing health care can put you ahead of the curve on facing hearing challenges.
When you are looking for the right audiologist, might we suggest Atlanta Hearing Doctor? Our hearing specialists perform comprehensive hearing examinations and personalized hearing analysis. We love helping you stay on top of your hearing health and we’re looking forward to being the hearing specialists you turn to.