What is age-related hearing loss? A question asked by so many people

  • What is age-related hearing loss? A question asked by so many people

    Posted by Tia on 14 December 2020 at 12:16 am

    My gran asked me a question why are the doctors speaking quieter than last year, are they speaking softer now or am I going mad! After assuring her she was as sane as I am I started to explain why her hearing was not as good as last year.

    Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs in most of us as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults.

    Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, respond to warnings, and hear phones, doorbells, and smoke alarms. Hearing loss can also make it hard to enjoy talking with family and friends, leading to feelings of isolation.

    Age-related hearing loss most often occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. Because the loss is gradual, if you have age-related hearing loss you may not realize that you’ve lost some of your ability to hear.

    There are many causes of age-related hearing loss. Most commonly, it arises from changes in the inner ear as we age, but it can also result from changes in the middle ear, or from complex changes along the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain. Certain medical conditions and medications may also play a role.

    Hearing as we know depends on a series of events that change sound waves in the air into electrical signals. Your auditory nerve then carries these signals to your brain through a complex series of steps.

    Why do we lose our hearing as we get older?

    Many factors can contribute to hearing loss as you get older. It can be difficult to distinguish age-related hearing loss from hearing loss that can occur for other reasons, such as long-term exposure to noise.

    Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by long-term exposure to sounds that are either too loud or last too long. This kind of noise exposure can damage the sensory hair cells in your ear that allow you to hear. Once these hair cells are damaged, they do not grow back and your ability to hear is diminished.

    Conditions that are more common in older people, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can contribute to hearing loss. Medications that are toxic to the sensory cells in your ears (for example, some chemotherapy drugs) can also cause hearing loss.

    Rarely, age-related hearing loss can be caused by abnormalities of the outer ear or middle ear. Such abnormalities may include reduced function of the tympanic membrane (the eardrum) or reduced function of the three tiny bones in the middle ear that carry sound waves from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear.

    Most older people who experience hearing loss have a combination of both age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss.

    Can I prevent age-related hearing loss?

    At this time, scientists don’t know how to prevent age-related hearing loss. However, you can protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss by protecting your ears from sounds that are too loud and last too long. It’s important to be aware of potential sources of damaging noises, such as loud music, firearms, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers. Avoiding loud noises, reducing the amount of time you’re exposed to loud noise, and protecting your ears with ear plugs or ear muffs are easy things you can do to protect your hearing and limit the amount of hearing you might lose as you get older.

    What should I do if I have trouble hearing?

    Hearing problems can be serious. The most important thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to seek advice from a health care provider. There are several types of professionals who can help you. You might want to start with your primary care physician, an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, or a hearing aid specialist. Each has a different type of training and expertise.

    Each can be an important part of your hearing health care.

    An otolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck.

    An otolaryngologist, sometimes called an ENT, will try to find out why you’re having trouble hearing and offer treatment options. He or she may also refer you to another hearing professional, an audiologist.

    An audiologist has specialized training in identifying and measuring the type and degree of hearing loss.

    Some audiologists may be licensed to fit hearing aids.A hearing aid specialist is someone who is licensed by your state to conduct and evaluate basic hearing tests, offer counseling, and fit and test hearing aids.

    What treatments and devices can help?

    Your treatment will depend on the severity of your hearing loss, so some treatments will work better for you than others. There are a number of devices and aids that help you hear better when you have hearing loss.

    So don’t just accept hearing loss as being part of getting older, find the right advice and once again hear the world clearly.

    One point to remember is that the seniors might not be hearing the words you are speaking, doctors and medical staff should ensure they write down the important information to ensure they have been heard correctly and understood.

    Tia replied 3 years, 2 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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