Follow us on:

Hearing Loss in Elderly

Share

Being able to hear is a very important sense to humans of any age, and allows us to foresee danger, and be aware of our surroundings. As well, it allows us to communicate, which is an essential skill. Some statistics regarding hearing loss are:

  • At least 1 out of every 10 seniors/adults has loss of hearing
  • 60-75% of seniors (>65) have some sort of hearing problem
Hearing Loss in Elderly

Hearing Loss in Elderly

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

There are certain signs that can signify that you have a problem with your hearing, or may be experiencing loss of hearing. Some examples include:

-Constantly needing people to repeat themselves or to talk louder
-Have trouble having conversations in quiet or noisy places
-Need to focus really hard to understand what someone is saying

Types of Hearing Loss

There are 2 types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural. Someone with hearing loss can have a part of one and a part of the other.

Conductive Hearing Loss:
This type of hearing loss is caused by a problem in the outer or mid part of the ear, and is
typically either a wax blockage, an infection, or a punctured eardrum. The good news is, this
type is usually temporary and can be medically treated or corrected.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
This type of hearing loss is caused by a problem in the inner part of the ear, or a problem with a
nerve within the ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is typically caused by disease, ear injury,
medicinal side-effects, constant loud environments, or simply just aging. It can also be caused by
congenital problems, which means that it resulted at birth, meaning that it was transferred
through genetics. Typically, this type of hearing loss is permanent, but can still be treated by
medical means. In this case, sound can seem overly loud or overly soft, muffled, or difficult to
understand. Some random noises (clicking, ringing, etc) may also be present in the ear.

How to Diagnose it

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, you can ask your doctor to do a physical examination and look into your ears with a otoscope. They will then proceed to do some listening tests on you, and if they feel that you have some hearing loss, you will be referred to an audiologist. Some common tests that may be performed by the audiologist include a tuning fork test, and various other tests.

 

How to Treat it

Conductive hearing loss can be treated by simply treating the problem that is causing the hearing loss, such as earwax removal, or being prescribed medicine to treat the infection that is causing it. For Sensorineural hearing loss, some types can be treated with hearing devices, like a hearing aid, or cochlear implants.

The worst case scenario is to learn to live with a reduced sense of hearing, and to pay more attention to facial expressions and gestures during a conversation.

How to Prevent Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be prevented, unless , of course, it was caused genetically. Some ways to delay or prevent it in later years are:

  • Avoid placing objects in your ear
  • Lower the volume at which you listen to music through headphones
  • Avoid loud environments, or places with power tools or objects that can cause loud noise
  • Always wear protection when in loud environments

Copyright © 2017 SeniorHealth365.com. All rights reserved.