Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is a partial or total inability to hear. It can happen suddenly or it can gradually decrease. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults. Nearly half of the seniors with the age 75 and above have difficulty in hearing. Having trouble in hearing can be troublesome because it makes communication harder between friends and family, to respond to warnings, alarms and doorbells. Hearing loss plays a role in how older adults experience and react to their environment. Typically, they respond slower towards sounds or respond inappropriately to the questions being asked if they have any hearing loss
Hearing loss in adults has a number of contributing factors, including age, genetics, noise exposure, and chronic disease such as; kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes. Age related hearing loss also known as presbycusis is a form of hearing loss that occurs gradually to most of us as we grow older. It happens because aging process also take part in our cochlear and causing the auditory nerve and hair cells in the cochlear to degenerate.. It is also one of the most common conditions that can affect the seniors. This issue is age related and it’s generally a slow, progressive loss in hearing that affects both ears equally. Because the loss is gradual, if you have experienced this issue you may not realize that you have lost some of your ability to hear.
One of the challenges in facing this problem is its slow progression. It is not easy for the seniors and elderly to acknowledge that they are having this problem. As audiologists, we are not surprised to hear that the spouse or significant other has been frustrated by the hearing loss long before the individual with the problem even acknowledges it.
Many contributing factors that can lead to hearing impairment as you get older. It can be difficult to distinguish age-related issue from hearing loss that can occur for other reasons, such as long-term exposure to noise. However, both age-related and noise-induced hearing loss have the same pathology of why hearing loss occurs.
Aging process can degenerate the sensory hair cells wheres long-term exposure to noise 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 hence your ability to hear is slowly going away.
Other medical conditions which accompanied when we get older such as viral or bacterial infections, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors, high blood pressure, chronic diseases and certain medicines are also the affecting factor why we lose our hearing ability as we get older. It is rare that hearing impairment in old age that is caused by abnormalities of the outer ear or middle ear.
Hearing aids can your blessing in restoring your hearing ability. Hearing aids are electronic instruments you wear in or behind your ear. This electronic device makes sound louder. It magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain.
If you are over 60 years old, it is best to have your hearing check annually. Come to us and let us assist you. Your hearing will be back in no time!