Hearing Loss In Elders - Causes, Prevention, Tips
Growing old is mandatory. As long as the clock is ticking, you will one day be an elderly person. Unlike what many people think, aging is not a bad thing. We all want to live for many years and that means we must embrace aging.
The effects of aging scare many people. The most common effect of aging is hearing loss and poor eyesight. Having lived 60 years hearing and seeing well, suddenly you have to cope with new impairments. Hearing loss in elderly people is common but it should not scare you. Learn how you can prepare yourself for your old age years. It is actually possible to avoid severe hearing loss when you grow old.
Why Does Hearing Loss Occur Among Seniors?
- First, you have to understand there are different kinds of hearing loss. There are the noise-induced hearing loss and the age-caused hearing loss, which is called Presbycusis. Differentiating the two types of hearing loss is hard because in most cases they both cause hearing loss among the elderly.
- Noise-induced hearing loss comes from exposure to loud sounds over a long period. Our lives are full of activities and by the time we grow old, we expose ourselves to loud sounds, which cause hearing loss.
- Think of hooting cars, plane engines, loud music, screaming kids, ambulance sirens, thunder, door bangs, and all manner of loudness you experience every day. That is the beginning of hearing loss.
- The other reason why seniors experience hearing loss is that ears wear out. Just like everything else, the more you use your ears the more they wear out. It is just the natural way of things.
- The internal parts of your ear such as the Tympanic Membrane (Eardrum) become less sensitive over time. The sensory hairs also fade making it hard for you to catch sound waves. At this point, you will find yourself asking people to repeat their statements several times. When you are in a crowd, the background noise makes it hard for you to hear what someone is saying.
- However, in some cases, the sensitivity of the internal parts of the ear may result from infections that affect the sensory cells. Certain medications can also affect your sensory cells and speed up your hearing loss.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss in Old Age
The best way you can prevent hearing loss in old age is by avoiding environments with loud sounds. However, avoiding loud noise in this current world is almost impossible. Therefore, try as much as you can to minimize your exposure.
Make sure you minimize the time you are exposed to noise. You can also wear protective gear if you must be in a noisy environment. If you are a worker in the industry, always wear protective gear.
There is no better way to avoid an age-induced hearing loss than to avoid noise in your daily living.
How to Improve Hearing Power in Old Age
Hearing loss in elderly people should not deny you enjoyment. Here are easy steps you can take to improve your hearing.
Get Hearing Aids
Depending on how severe your hearing loss is, an Otologist will recommend to you the appropriate hearing aids. If you already have hearing aids, use them to boost your hearing power. Most of the time, elderly people with hearing loss avoid putting on hearing aids because of stigma. But remember these hearing aids are for your good.
Let People Know Your Condition
When you are in a social place and you meet new people, let them know you are hard of hearing. Ask them to speak clearly. Insist that they face you while speaking to enable you to read their lip movements. You should not feel embarrassed about being hard of hearing. It is normal.
Get a Special Phone
Most communication is through the phone these days. If you are hard of hearing, listening to phone conversations will also be hard. Even though most phones have a loudspeaker, they do not necessarily suit people with hearing loss.
Make sure you get the best phone for the hard of hearing. Such phones do not only have loud volume but also have additional features to help people with hearing problems.
You cannot avoid growing old but you can prepare to have a happy old age years. It does not matter how late you may think you are in changing your lifestyle. If you start practising safe living today, it will have an impact in the years to come. Take care of your ears for that is the only pair you will ever have.