As we age the quality at which we hear depreciates. It is common for young people to hear very high pitched sounds and frequencies. But older people, by contrast, cannot hear them. Simple tests can reveal, with some level of accuracy, the age of the listener’s hearing. So you may be around 50 years old. But what about your hearing age? Do you have the hearing of a 20 year old, or a 70 year old? For more information, read on below!
The Development Stage
As a child is born and develops at a very early age, they will have a wide spectrum of sound to enjoy. They can hear clearly at both ends of the spectrum as the inner ear works at its optimum best. The inner ear is a complex organ. As we age, the inner ear does not regenerate as other organs do.
Even so, the ears are an astonishing part of the body. They pick up sound and vibrations, and with a little help from your brain, provide one of the five main senses. Frequency is the number of sounds and vibrations that are produced every second. The frequency is measured in hertz and each tiny vibration equates to one of these hertz.
Whilst it can be fun to take a hearing test age determination online, it may have a degree of inaccuracy. You might not have the excellent quality speakers or headphone sets used in a surgery or clinic. The surrounding environment of a clinic may be a far better place to take a hearing test for a child. Children are most likely to have the best hearing of all the generations as they have reached a well-developed stage with all tiny hair cells intact.
The tiny hair cells that grow inside the inner ear do not regenerate. It is also worth noting that hearing loss is something that runs in the family. If parents or grandparents of a child suffered a degree of hearing loss, there’s a chance the child may develop it too.
Teenagers and the Vulnerability to Hearing Loss
The developing years of a teenager are critical for the adolescent child. He or she will participate more frequently into a noisy environment. Teens are likely to attend loud music concerts, discos, school proms, sports matches and busy shopping centres. It is here that exposure to loud noises could damage the quality of hearing in a teenager in later life. Smokers and diabetics are also red flag areas which can accelerate hearing loss.
A teenager with excellent hearing levels should be able to hear within a range from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz. As we age, we can no longer hear the upper spectrum of sound. This upper limit starts to decrease the older you get. Astonishingly, there are sound alarms that can deter teenagers and younger people from loitering. They transmit a frequency you can only hear when you’re under 25. Although, those with very youthful hearing can actually still pick up the annoying buzz in their early thirties. Either way, it’s crucial that a teenager has a hearing check up during this vital period.
In adults the hearing test age determination will start to show a slow decrease in the upper spectrum. It is better to have a hearing test age examination in a clinic than to do one at home. The sound card in a computer or on a smartphone may not be of a standard to correctly produce the very upper frequencies. It is difficult to pinpoint one single cause as to why hearing loss can degenerate as we age. Exposure to loud sounds and hereditary factors are most common. It is not uncommon to see warning notices pop up on smartphones and tablets when you turn the volume too high.
An adult aged between 40 and 60 would normally hear frequency at around 12-14 kilohertz at its highest point on a spectrum. It is also worth noting that the hearing of men degrades more quickly than women.
The Elderly and Age-related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss will occur in most by the onset of old age. What actually happens is the range of frequency narrows. High frequency sounds can no longer be heard and the volume at which we hear also is reduced. Hearing aids are a good way of getting back some of the volume that is lost with the onset of old age. As humans we can hear a wide range of sounds in nature. But there are many sounds that are beyond the frequency of even the very young.
Ultrasound includes the beating of a heart, which can be so low as to register around 3 Hz. This is beneath the range of human perception. At the other end of the scale, there are the ultra-high pitched sounds and squawks from animals like dolphins and bats. Bats have very poor or no actual vision but navigate through sound. A bat can hear a frequency of sound even beyond the 100,000 Hz range. Humans cannot hear ultrasound at any age. But during old age, our ability to hear even normal sounds like the TV or the murmur of conversation becomes worse.
The Hearing Test Age Determination
When a doctor or general practitioner refers a patient to a clinic for a hearing test age determination, it helps to calculate if hearing levels are better or worse than one’s true age. If you are 50 years old then you might expect the test to show you have the hearing of someone that age.
A hearing test will last no more than about 10 minutes. The patient will wear headphones and hold a response fob in the hand of their choice. A nurse will tell you that you are about to hear a range of sound frequencies. They often start low and well within the normal hearing range before gradually getting higher. The instructions are that you must inform the clinician are when you no longer hear the sound. The result then tells the audiologist what you hearing age actually is.
So, how does all of that sound? Are you interested in finding out your hearing age? Then why not pay us a visit, or give us a call over the phone? Or you can even fill in our online contact form. And for more information, check out the rest of our blog in the links to the right. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!