Your ears give you access to the many wonderful sounds in the world: a symphony, the songs of birds, the laughter of children and the purling of water in a stream. As you age, though, you might experience a loss in your ability to hear the full range of sounds. This condition can happen for many reasons related to the aging process. Fortunately, excellent solutions exist to help you hear clearly as you get older.
Age and Hearing
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders states that hearing loss becomes much more common as people reach their 50s and 60s. More than half of people 75 and older have some form of hearing difficulty. This can make it difficult for seniors to maintain an active social life, enjoy music or television and speak with friends, family and medical professionals.
Presbycusis is the medical term for a reduction in hearing as a person ages and can happen due to several reasons. Common factors that impact the hearing of seniors include the following:
- A lifetime of exposure to loud sounds
- Medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- Medications that damage the sensory cells in the ears
- Abnormalities in the inner ear or outer ear
Hearing loss commonly occurs in both ears and it gradually leads to a reduction in the ability to pick up certain sound frequencies. At first, you might find it hard to detect the condition. As the loss of hearing progresses, though, you might notice a reduced ability to hear conversations and to enjoy certain activities. Without treatment, you could experience an unnecessary reduction in your quality of life.
Ways To Minimize Hearing Loss
While many conditions related to aging do not have absolute answers, you can protect your hearing ability in several ways. This mostly involves protecting your ears from loud sounds and long exposure to high-decibel environments. These sources include loud music, machines from occupational settings, lawnmowers and snowmobiles. Wearing ear protection such as ear plugs and ear muffs can also protect hearing. Scientists, however, cannot prevent all forms of presbycusis and you may need to consider appropriate treatments.
How To Treat Hearing Concerns as You Age
As you notice a reduction in your hearing, you must seek help from hearing experts. These professionals have advanced training in finding solutions for hearing problems. They help you retain a better quality of life and to maintain good ear health. Your primary care physician, an otolaryngologist, an audiologist or a hearing aid specialist can all play a positive role in your hearing acuity.
A number of treatments or devices help maintain good hearing as you grow older. Several professional services can prove beneficial and help you enjoy the sounds in your life:
- Audiological screenings and evaluations
- Tinnitus evaluations and treatments
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder treatments
- Hearing aids fitting and maintenance
The sooner you start looking into your age-related hearing loss, the better. Contact our professionals at HEAR Center to learn more and find answers to your questions. Our goal is to help you remain active in the speaking and hearing world.
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