Senior Living Care Blog

Preventing Age-Related Hearing Loss In Seniors

Posted by Joe Gilmore on Jul 24, 2019 11:00:00 AM

 

Most adults deal with age-related the gradually occurs as they grow older. It is one of the most common conditions that affect older and elderly adults, in fact, about one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss. Moreover, nearly half of all seniors older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

 

Unfortunately, problems with hearing can potentially lead to some serious problems including not responding to warnings, not following a doctor’s advice, no hearing smoke alarms, and more. It can also make it more difficult to enjoy the company of friends and family, leading to feelings of social isolation.

 

Why Do We Lose Hearing As We Age?

An older man wearing a hearing aid because he suffers from hearing loss

There are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss as you get older, it can make it difficult to distinguish between age-related hearing loss and hearing loss for other reasons.

 

However, conditions that are common among older individuals such as high blood pressure or diabetes can contribute to hearing loss. Similarly, certain medications have proven to be toxic to sensory cells in your ears. Chemotherapy drugs, for example, have been found to cause hearing loss.

 

Moreover, problems such as a punctured eardrum can also lead to hearing loss. A punctured eardrum can be caused by a number of things such as infection or putting objects in the ear. If you have pain in the eardrum, it is best to seek medical help and reach out to your doctor.

 

It should also be noted that hearing loss is a hereditary thing as well. Not all forms of hearing loss will take place at birth and many of them may show up later in life. One example of this is otosclerosis which causes abnormal bone growth and can prevent structures in the ear from working correctly.

 

There are many different ways that people can be affected by hearing loss, they can come from certain diseases, medications, or hereditary issues. They can also be directly related to age- or noise-related issues.

 

Age-Related Hearing Loss

Age-Related Hearing Loss, or Presbycusis, is a type of hearing loss that comes on gradually as a person gets older. This type of hearing loss generally occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. The loss is gradual and subtle, so subtle that someone with presbycusis may not realize that he or she has lost some of their hearing before it is too late.

 

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by exposure, especially long-term exposure, to sounds that can be either too loud or last too long. This type of exposure and hearing loss can cause damage to the sensory hair cells in the ears that allow you to hear. Unfortunately, once these hair cells are damaged, they do not grow back or get better and the ability to hear is permanently affected.

 

Hearing Loss Prevention

While there isn’t a lot of information or suggestions for preventing age-related hearing loss specifically, there are things that you can do and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of things like noise-induced hearing loss. Simply protecting your ears from sounds that are too loud and last too long.

 

There are a number of damaging noises that you are exposed to every day that can impact and reduce your ability to hear. Things like loud music, lawnmowers, firearms, leaf blowers, and more can all affect your hearing capabilities. Avoiding these types of loud noises and reducing the amount of time you're exposed to these types of loud noises can help to protect your hearing and limit the amount of hearing you might lose as you get older.

 

Treatment For Hearing Loss

A woman wearing a cochlear implant to help with her hearing loss

Treatment for hearing loss will depend on the severity of the situation. Some treatments work better for you than others. There are a number of devices and aids that can help you improve your hearing when you have hearing loss such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and more.

 

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are electronic devices that help make sounds louder that you wear in or behind the ear. When looking for a hearing aid, you may want to try more than one. To do this, you can ask for a trial period with your hearing aid to give it a shot before making a permanent decision.

 

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are small electronic devices that are implanted in the inner ear during surgery. They help to provide a sense of sound to people who are profoundly deaf or don’t have good hearing. If hearing loss is severe, a doctor may recommend a cochlear implant in one or both ears.

 

If your loved one is dealing with hearing loss problems, there are a number of things that you can do to help them overcome these issues and hear you a little bit better. For example, speaking at a reasonable speed, not hiding your mouth, stand in good lighting, giving facial expressions and gestures can all help to improve your loved one’s ability to comprehend what you are trying to communicate.

 

What’s Next

If you or a loved one is dealing with hearing issues, it can make it difficult for them to deal with day-to-day life and can even be dangerous in certain circumstances. Luckily, there are treatment options that can help them improve their hearing. However, other routes exist as well. Assisted living facilities and caregivers are always here to help if needed. Landmark Senior Living is one facility that can help your loved one as they age.

 

Landmark Senior Living in New Mexico has caregivers and staff that are dedicated to providing your loved one with the quality care and service that they deserve and need at this chapter in their life. Landmark offers a number of different care services, including memory care to help those residents who are dealing with issues related to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark Senior Living has to offer, please visit our website and reach out to schedule a free tour of one of our facilities.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Health

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