Millions of people in the US alone suffer from some degree of hearing loss. The causes of widespread hearing loss are generally associated with the same culprits, such as loud machinery in working conditions and going to concerts without any ear protection. Even though as a culture we view the loss of hearing as almost a comical event, it should be noted that it can have very serious implications on your life, and is not a laughing matter.
In fact, many people who have hearing loss will also develop tinnitus, which is characterized by a ringing sound in the ears that usually doesn’t go away. A tinnitus sufferer can have the condition for their entire life, and there are currently no known cures or “fix all” treatments available at this time. Among this and other reasons to protect your hearing, there is the fact that once you have lost part of your hearing ability, you don’t gain it back. Hearing does not regenerate itself like your skin does when you get a scrape, because once the microscopic hairs in your inner ear get pushed down by loud sounds, they are not able to spring back up. Some people have these inner ear hairs partially pushed down, and others with more severe hearing loss have them pushed down to the point of no return.
When you are looking at the effects of hearing loss on quality of life, other than considering a tinnitus condition and permanent hearing loss, there is the effect of frustration. It is very frustrating to not be able to hear, or not be able to hear very well. You would constantly have to ask people to repeat what they said, and you would be required to wear a hearing aid if you wanted to avoid this. These are things that most people do not want as a long term lifestyle change, and so protecting your ears is very important when you weigh the costs and consequences of not doing it.