Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults
Hearing loss is a condition which many of us experience at some point in our lives. Sometimes, like when we attend a loud concert or visit a nightclub or bar where they play loud music, it’s fleeting and temporary. Yet, as we get older, we can experience a more permanent, but altogether less noticeable form of hearing loss. And when that happens, it’s essential to know where to turn for help and advice.
Many of us are unaware of just how common hearing loss is. Moreover, lots of people are affected by hearing loss but aren’t even aware that they have it. And this can prevent them from getting the potentially life-changing help of an audiologist.
Let’s take a closer look at the issue of hearing loss in older adults.
How many older adults have hearing loss?
If you’re over the age of 65 and experience hearing loss, it can be a somewhat alienating experience. Hearing loss can make it harder to engage with and make sense of the world around us. After all, you’ve been using your ears to navigate your environment your whole life. And when you have hearing loss, it can make it seem as though the volume has been turned down on the world around you.
But rest assured, you are far from alone. In fact, according to the NIDCD, apparently, one in three adults between the age of 65-74 has hearing loss, and almost 50% of adults over the age of 75 experience it, too.
You could have hearing loss and not even know it
The truth is that even these statistics may be on the conservative side. The reason for this is that many adults have hearing loss but aren’t actually aware of it.
Sensorineural hearing loss, the kind that many of us experience in old age, isn’t always as noticeable as that feeling when we step out of a noisy environment onto a quiet street. It erodes the sharpness of our hearing slowly over a period of years, or even decades. As such, it can grow quite profound over time, and we may not be aware of it unless we keep an eye out for the signs.
Some of the signs of hearing loss
Miscommunications, misunderstandings and needing those around us to repeat themselves. These are fairly common experiences that happen to us all at some time or another. However, when we have hearing loss, they can occur more and more frequently.
You may have hearing loss if you experience the following regularly:
- You have trouble understanding people over the phone- especially women, children and higher voices.
- You often need to turn up the volume on your TV or radio, much to the chagrin of your neighbors.
- Your spouse or partner regularly has to repeat themselves when they’re talking to you, and sometimes you can see them getting frustrated.
- You find conversations in public places like restaurants or cafes hard to follow, and as a result, you don’t join in conversations as much as you used to.
- You often mishear or misunderstand people in conversation, especially unfamiliar voices.
- You often experience tinnitus, a distracting ringing or buzzing in the ears that can be irritating in noisy spaces but seem even louder in quiet rooms.
How your audiologist can help
Like any medical condition, the sooner you act, the more you can do to mitigate the effects of hearing loss on your day to day life. An audiologist can be an invaluable aid in helping you to restore your hearing and help you to feel more engaged with the world around you.
Your audiologist can carry out a series of painless and completely non-invasive tests to help you to ascertain the cause of your hearing loss, and identify any frequencies that you may have trouble hearing. They can then recommend a hearing aid that’s selected and calibrated with your exact needs in mind. And because hearing loss changes over time, they can keep checking and calibrating your hearing aid to ensure that you’re getting the most out of it. They can help ensure that your ears are clean and free of blockages as these can exacerbate existing issues with hearing loss.
If you have, or think you may have hearing loss an audiologist can be invaluable in helping you to live your best life in spite of it. Don’t let hearing loss prevent you from living life to the fullest.
To learn more, get in touch with us at Affordable Hearing
- Irmo, SC: (803) 749-6017
- Orangeburg, SC: (803) 531-6403
- Santee, SC: (803) 531-6403
- Newberry, SC: (803) 597-5136