Hearing loss is a common part of aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss causes confusion in conversation and may leave the individual feeling embarrassed or frustrated about not being able to understand what others are saying. Seniors experiencing hearing loss may falsely appear to be confused or uncooperative. Researchers have also found seniors who experience hearing loss have higher anxiety levels and periods of depression. Because this condition happens gradually, it may go undetected at first, yet it is important to check hearing regularly as there are some treatments available, depending on the type of hearing loss. There’s no need to feel lost.
What are the signs one may be experiencing hearing loss in the elderly?
- Ears feel clogged.
- Noises and speech sound muffled or mumbling.
- Background noise becomes overwhelming and makes conversations hard to focus on.
- Certain consonants and high-pitch sounds cannot be heard. Women are harder to hear than men.
- It is harder to hear when speaking on the phone.
- Younger family members may notice the TV turned up to a loud volume while the hard of hearing family members may think it’s at a normal volume.
Hearing Loss in Elderly 70s-80s
Generally, old age tends to be the common cause of hearing troubles. This is called Presbycusis. In the ear, there are tiny little hairs that help transmit sound to the brain. Over time, these small hairs begin to deteriorate. Continuous exposure to loud noises or other health conditions like diabetes or heart disease can also affect hearing. Ear infections, high fevers, medication side effects, and a ruptured eardrum all may contribute to hearing loss. A sudden loss of hearing may be an indication of a problem, and you should consult with your doctor immediately.
Because most cases of hearing loss cannot be reversed unless it is something temporary like excess wax buildup, doctors focus on ways to best utilize and amplify the hearing ability the patient has and work to protect it from further damage. Treatment options include hearing aids, training in speech-reading, assistive devices like technology that converts speech to text, limiting exposure to loud noises, and techniques that prevent wax buildup. Hearing loss can be a difficult thing to live with, and some elders may need assistance in communication technology. A home care service like Griswold Home Care Orlando can assist you or your loved one with companionship while learning to use speech-to-text technology or speech reading techniques. Their caregivers are specially trained and experienced in caring for elderly people and treat them in a caring and compassionate manner. Don’t let your hearing loss stay undiagnosed.