A Hearing Timeline

29 January 2020

Our hearing starts developing while we’re still in the womb, and we come to recognise our mother’s voice before we’re even born. As newborns, our ears are filled with fluid and our hearing is not fully developed, but we are capable of hearing lullabies, loud noises, and what’s happening around us. Our hearing plays a large part in language development and awareness, so babies come out of the womb with their hearing intact.

As we grow into toddlers and young children, our hearing grows with us. It allows us to pick up sounds and syllables, strengthening our understanding of tone and language. Before long, we’re able to speak and communicate with others. However, congenital or acquired hearing loss can impact children’s development.

By the time we’re teenagers, our hearing is nearly fully developed. We start developing our taste in music, and we should have a firm grasp on our spoken language. Our late teens are where our hearing switches from development to deterioration, though we won’t notice this change at all. As long as no severe noise-related hearing loss has been acquired (car accidents, loud bangs, etc.), our hearing is in its prime by the time we’re 18.

Our early 20s make up our best years hearing-wise. A person with healthy hearing can hear a pin drop and will have next to no problems carrying a conversation in a crowded room. As long as other issues are not present, like auditory processing disorder or autism, a hearing person should have very few problems hearing and understanding those around them. By the time we hit 25, our hearing will start to degrade, though these effects will be impossible to detect for most of us.

While everyone’s hearing is different, most people start to lose their grasp on their hearing after the age of 50. However, people with exceptionally good and well-protected hearing might not notice a problem until they’re well into their 60s. On the flip side, those who have lived high-volume lifestyles might begin noticing problems as early as their mid-30s or earlier. This includes construction workers, people who served in the military, people who work around planes, and musicians.

Age-related hearing loss, or sensorineural hearing loss, is caused by noise exposure, which means prolonged exposure to loud sounds. This can include loud music, engines, machinery, and even gunfire. Even if you don’t work a job with high rates of noise exposure, simply living in a crowded city, taking the subway often, and frequently attending loud events can accelerate hearing loss. Some people with exceptionally high rates of noise exposure can begin losing their hearing in their 20s.

It’s impossible to accurately determine when you’ll begin losing your hearing. It depends on many aspects of your life and genetics. This is why frequent hearing tests are vital to your aural health. Sensorineural hearing loss is gradual and nearly impossible to detect in its early stages. You should have a full audiogram done whenever you suspect something is off about your hearing. To understand about your hearing, visit Travancore Hearing Solutions.

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