Why Do So Many Elderly People Experience Hearing Loss
People over age 60 frequently have hearing problems. Thirty percent of American people over the age of 60 are affected. Many of these people have severe hearing loss, greatly affecting their lives.
How Can Elderly People Tell That They Have Hearing Loss?
It is important that elderly people who do not hear well seek help. Talking with friends, family members, and even co-workers may hint that hearing loss is developing.
Some people may want to delay getting help because they do not want to admit that they cannot hear well. However, if you notice any of the following, you should seek help:
- Trouble hearing in a noisy environment
- Trouble hearing on the telephone, especially when there is background noise
- Trouble understanding what someone is saying to you
- Only hearing part of the words from TV or radio shows
How Is Hearing Loss Treated for the Elderly?
Hearing aids are the most commonly used treatment for hearing loss. They are small electronic devices placed in or around your ear to amplify and enhance sound.
Elderly people who use hearing aids should work with their healthcare provider to make sure they are using the hearing aids properly and that the hearing aids are working well.
Some elderly people may not be able to use hearing aids. Other treatment options include:
- Surgical procedures such as cochlea implants that function like hearing aids
- Cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aids for people with severe to profound hearing loss
- Picking a quiet environment to live in
- Communicating with family members, friends, and co-workers so they will speak louder
What Are the Complications of Hearing Loss in the Elderly?
Problems with hearing can lead to depression and feelings of isolation from family and friends. In addition, people with hearing loss may have trouble communicating with others, leading to problems with their families or in relationships.
Additionally, the elderly need to maintain a good quality of life and avoid long-term hearing loss. Hearing loss makes it more likely that elderly people will have other problems, leading to other problems developing.
What Can Aging People Do to Keep Their Hearing in Good Condition?
Some of the same things you can do to keep healthy as you age can help you keep your hearing in good condition. These include:
- Following your healthcare provider's advice about taking medication
- Following a healthy diet
- Getting enough exercise
- Avoiding cigarette smoke and other pollutants
Those who already have hearing loss should also try to avoid loud noises. Listening to music or watching TV at a loud volume can increase hearing loss.
Can Elderly People Find Good Treatment?
This depends on the cause of your hearing loss. Treatment for hearing loss is not the same for every person. It depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss.
Your healthcare provider can treat your hearing loss with hearing aids or surgery, depending on the hearing loss. You can also participate in various programs that use sound to help people with hearing loss. These programs include hearing loops and sign language.
Hearing loss happens to many elderly people, but it is not inevitable. Knowing what signs to look for and how to treat your hearing loss will help reduce your level of hearing loss and its impact on your life. It is important to keep your hearing in good condition to take part in everyday activities and keep up with family and friends. Try to avoid getting hearing loss in the first place.
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