Around the world, over 466 million people are suffering from hearing loss. There are more people with this condition than people with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes combined. In the United States, 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74 and 1 in 2 of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
There are four major types of hearing loss: auditory processing disorders (when the brain cannot process information in sound), conductive (problem with the outer or middle ear), sensorineural (the cochlea and/or the auditory nerve is damaged), and mixed.
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is considered sensorineural since it arises from changes in the inner ear. The tiny hair cells found in this section of the ear are responsible for creating electrical signals that the auditory nerves pass to the brain. As the cells in the body ages, these hair cells either get damaged or die, eventually causing hearing loss.
Effects of Hearing Loss on Older Adults
The body grows weaker as a person ages. Simple tasks become twice as hard to perform, making everyday living quite a challenge. With hearing loss underway, the life of older adults becomes even more challenging. As the condition impairs their ability to communicate, their social life diminishes as well, leading to isolation, loneliness, and frustration.
Most cases of hearing loss don’t happen suddenly. A lot of adults actually don’t know that they have this condition as it develops slowly over time, and they simply get used to it. It is almost the same as vision loss when those who have it don’t realize they have poor vision until they wear eye glasses for the first time.
Seeking Proper Treatment
Unfortunately, there’s no remedy to age-related hearing loss because it is part of the aging process. Damaged or dead cells in the ears can no longer grow back. Assistive devices, such as hearing aids and telephone amplifiers can help improve hearing by increasing the audibility of sound. They literally perform the functions of the affected areas in the ears.
Further Slowing Down Hearing Loss
Just because hearing loss is inevitable doesn’t mean it can’t be delayed or slowed down. All you have to do is to avoid practices and activities that might have a serious impact on your hearing. These include listening to loud music. It is best to limit your use of portable devices and keep the volume level low at all times. Visiting an ear specialist when you notice signs of hearing problem is also a good idea.
When your hearing starts to degenerate, it is best to consult with a hearing professional immediately. They will most likely recommend a hearing aid. Thankfully, there are reputable suppliers of high-quality hearing aids, such as Ear Master, that can help you overcome your situation with ease.
Deafness and hearing loss, who.int
The impact of hearing loss on the quality of life of elderly adults, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov