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      Listen up; it could be life changing

      Listening to your favorite song on maximum volume or even mowing the lawn may have a bigger impact than you think.

      Listening to your favorite song on maximum volume or even mowing the lawn may have a bigger impact than you think.

      People across the country, including middle-aged adults, are suffering from hearing loss without possibly even knowing it.

      A man who suffered from ear loss, Bob Fite said, I always had the best pioneer amp there was, the best stereo, the best headphones.

      Fite would attend rock concerts and race car events not knowing that over time those high decibels can cause damage.

      Otolaryngologist Dr. Raymond Aldridge, who practices in Tifton and Moultrie, says anytime you hear ringing after an event or listening to something, some type of damage has occurred. Aldridge adds, although your ears naturally repair themselves about 99 percent, that one percent of damage left over and over again can build up over time.

      According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, exposure to every day noises like loud music, and a noisy work environment can lead to hearing loss over many years. 48 million adults in the U.S. report some degree of hearing loss, but 60 percent of those with hearing loss are still able to work.

      Dr. Aldridge says because of the new technology offered, more people around 50 years of age and older are seeking help. He said, There are a lot more advances in hearing aids; now they can be like glasses they can be custom fitted to each individual, in the old days people had one hearing aid and it worked for some but not for a lot. It was like giving everyone the same glasses."

      Preventing hearing loss would mean changing habits like using ear plugs with loud activities like mowing the lawn and lowering the volume on your head phones. Aldridge says if the person next to you can hear it, it TMs too loud. He said, "If you need to have the TV or radio louder than anyone else in the room or tinnitus or ringing sensation in the ear when it's quiet, it is often a sign of nerve damage."

      Another key is getting your ears checked, the results could be life changing. When Fite received his hearing aid he said to be able to hear birds chirping and semi- trucks passing by, clearly, was amazing.