Hearing Loss In SeniorsSep 12, 2013
Hearing loss affects one to two thirds of seniors in the United States, and the effects of hearing loss are more than just a loud TV. It dramatically affects a senior’s quality of life. Read on for what to look for, and what you can do.
Do you have a senior in your life who answers questions you haven’t asked? Who keeps the television so loud you can hear it outside the front door? Who asks you to repeat things over and over before they hear what you’re saying?
Hearing Loss With Age
All of these are typical symptoms of hearing loss, which is a natural progression with aging. One in three Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and over half of people over the age of 85 have hearing loss.
So while it's not uncommon for a senior to lose some of their hearing as they age, it can become a cause for concern if that hearing loss interferes with daily life.
Hearing Loss Interferes With Life
The senior may not be able to keep up with conversations around them, so they just stop trying. They avoid reaching out by phone because it can be hard to hear the conversation on the other end of the line. This can cause seniors to stop participating in the life around them. They stop going out with family and friends. They stop attending local events that they used to enjoy such as plays or church, and it can even have effects on other areas of their health. For example, a doctor’s instructions may be missed because they weren’t all heard, leading to a senior taking the wrong medication, or taking the medication incorrectly.
Consequences Of Hearing Loss For Seniors
The consequence of hearing loss are tragic for seniors. The social isolation that comes with not being able to hear and participate in the conversations around them leads to a decline in both physical and mental function. The chances of injury, hospitalization and depression all increase when hearing loss is left untreated.
Get A Hearing Evaluation
But it doesn’t have to be like this. A simple hearing evaluation from a Doctor of Audiology or Audiologist can diagnose any potential hearing problems, and they will be able to recommend hearing aids that are appropriate for each individual. While many people resist hearing aids at first because they feel that hearing aids are a sign of old age, today’s hearing aids are nearly invisible, and they can improve the quality of life for a senior dramatically.
Help Your Loved One Stay Engaged In Life
If you have a senior loved one who shows signs of hearing loss, encourage them to see an audiologist right away. If you are a senior and you know you can’t hear the way you used to, go to an audiologist for a hearing evaluation. Get the hearing aids you need so you can stay engaged in life, and stay healthy and happy as long as possible.
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