February 26, 2024

Age-Related Hearing Loss is Often Untreated

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As you age, there is a big chance you may be dealing with age-related hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is the most common reason for hearing loss, affecting 1 in 3 seniors 65 and over and half of those over 75 years old. Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the natural breakdown of your inner ears as the loud noises your ears have endured and lifestyle choices of a lifetime can build up.

Hearing Loss Develops Over Time

People are often reluctant to admit or accept they have a problem because often they do not know they have a problem at all. Presbycusis is often undiagnosed and untreated because it develops slowly over time. It tends to start slowly that most do not realize that they have hearing damage until one struggles even in the most quiet of environments.

Knowing the Signs of Age-Related Hearing Loss

When we know the signs of age-related hearing loss we can make wise choices around treatment. It is often the people in your life who spend the most time with you that will notice you have a hearing loss before you diagnose the condition yourself. They may notice you asking them to repeat themselves over and over or catch you misunderstanding or pretending to understand what was said. If you are having trouble hearing people in a crowded room, you find you need the television or phone turned up louder than people around you or you are missing alarm clocks and doorbells then it is a very good idea to have your hearing checked as possible.

Denial of Hearing Loss

There are many reasons that keep seniors from admitting they have a hearing loss. Some of these reasons for denial include not believing that their hearing has declined enough to seek treatment, or see it as a sign of weakness they are not willing to admit to. Denial around hearing has serious health complications as seniors age. It is important to understand that while presbycusis is a permanent condition it can be treated using hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify the sounds that your ears struggle to decipher and send them to your inner ear. When seniors are reluctant to admit they have a hearing problem they deny treatment, which allows dangerous side effects to progress to the detriment of their health.

Negative Effects of Denial Around Hearing Loss

When hearing loss is ignored and goes untreated it can make seniors feel out of the loop in conversations. They may start to struggle in communication, opting to avoid social interactions, leading to depression and self-isolation. Relationships between partners, family, friends and co-workers begin to struggle and self-confidence suffers. Seniors who struggle to hear can struggle with memory problems that have been linked to a higher risk in developing dementia. Mobility is also compromised as seniors have less auditory information helping them navigate the world, leading to higher incidence of falls and hospitalizations.

Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss

When seniors treat their hearing with hearing aids they have a chance to stop these negative side effects before they can progress into more serious conditions. Hearing aids have been shown time and time again to help ease the effects of presbycusis, making the people and sounds of your life audible. Despite the positive benefits of hearing aids many seniors avoid dealing with their hearing. Of people 70 and older that could benefit from hearing aids only 30% have ever even tried them. Don’t be part of this statistic. Hearing aids can make it possible to communicate with the people in your life, continuing to build and develop relationships. You will have a greater sense of mobility and self-confidence, allowing you to stay active, connected and engaged.

Schedule a Hearing Test Today

Don’t let hearing loss slow you down from continuing to enjoy your life. As you arrive at 65 and older it is a safe bet to have your hearing checked annually. Make an appointment to have your hearing checked today. We can help you understand if you have a hearing loss, to what extent and help you find the best hearing solutions for you and your lifestyle.

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.

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