As we get older, we experience some significant changes in our bodily functions. Naturally, our body gets weaker, leading to slower movements and decreased effectiveness. And many of our senses begin to become less reliable than they were for most of our lives.
One of the things that usually comes with age is hearing loss.
What is age-related hearing loss?
Also known as presbycusis, hearing loss is a common condition that affects many older adults. Approximately 1 in 2 adults aged 65 or above start to experience this to some degree.
Although it is not a life-threatening condition, this disability brings a lot of problems that make it difficult for an individual to listen and converse with others, which leaves the person feeling lonely and isolated.
Age-related hearing loss is gradual, which means the individual might not realize that he or she has lost or is losing their ability to hear. Additionally, it usually affects both ears in equal measure, so it’s really hard to notice the changes.
How can we lose our hearing with age?
It is difficult to set apart or distinguish hearing loss due to age and hearing loss due to other, external reasons.
Constant exposure to loud and continuous noises contribute to hearing loss, as it damages the sensory hair cells in your ears. These hair cells play a very important part in our ability to hear and once they are damaged, they do not grow back and will leave our hearing permanently diminished.
There are a lot of causes for age-related hearing loss. Commonly, it is because of changes in the inner ear as we grow older. Some cases, however, show that it can also arise from changes in the middle ear, or from nerve pathways that connect the ear to the brain.
Age-related hearing loss can also set in as a result of some medications, such as chemotherapy, or because of other medical conditions that typically affect older people such as high-blood pressure and diabetes.
What are the signs to pay attention to?
If you suddenly notice that you have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, such as female or children’s voices, chances are you are experiencing age-related hearing loss.
Having difficulty hearing in noisy areas, difficulty in distinguishing between the “s” and “th” sound, or understanding conversations on the phone are also symptoms of age-related hearing loss. For people with this condition, it is also common to turn up the volume of the radio or the television louder than usual. Alternately, certain sounds may seem too loud for them.
Other symptoms include the onset of tinnitus, or a ringing sound that only the person can hear, and constant requests for others to repeat what they say.
Although it may seem natural when it comes with growing older, hearing problems should not be taken lightly. If you feel like you are starting to experience such problems, the best course of action is to seek advice from licensed health professionals.
Beltone DFW provides the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with hearing specialists that will help you through the process of testing your hearing. And if necessary they are experts at finding the right devices for you. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and will assist you in testing the devices that fit your needs. Give us a call today at (888) 958-8432 or schedule an appointment online to begin exploring your options.