Health is the main value of every person. Unfortunately, with age, our body wears out, provoking the development of various disorders. Most often, sensory organs suffer from such changes, and hearing loss in older adults takes a leading position among them.
Hearing problems in older adults is a common occurrence. According to statistics, by the age of 60, almost half of the population has certain such disorders. The degree of development of the disorder and its causes may vary. All of them lead to the fact that a person’s life becomes less comfortable. We perceive the world through the senses. Violation of at least one of them already significantly complicates our daily lives, and many tasks that previously seemed routine, become impossible. In addition to these problems, other unpleasant diseases can develop. A person has problems with sleep, speech impairment, arrhythmia, irritation, and aggression may appear. However, hearing loss is not a sentence! Even with this disorder, you can lead a full and happy life.
What are the symptoms and causes of hearing loss?
Decreased hearing sensitivity is a major symptom of the disorder. Moreover, a person may not even notice this, because the hearing loss in older adults develops gradually with age. The first signs of the disorder may appear by the age of 40. The disease will progress if the correct course of treatment is not carried out.
If you do not immediately understand your opponent during a conversation, do not fully hear music or TV, and a combination of different sounds (for example, a walk along a noisy street) turns into a monotonous noise, then you have a hearing loss. Along with these problems, you may experience coordination disorders (frequent falls), unpleasant ringing, dizziness, and so on. Have you noticed similar symptoms in yourself or a relative? Take the online hearing test and make sure you are healthy. Otherwise, seek medical advice.
It should be noted that the degree and speed of development of disorder primarily depend on the cause, which has become a catalyst for the disease. The subsequent course of treatment depends on this. Otorhinolaryngologists note the main reasons that lead to hearing loss in older adults:
Complications from diseases
Negative working environment (work at a construction site, factory)
These factors negatively affect the functioning of the auditory organ, significantly reducing its functionality. The types of disorder also vary depending on the cause.
Conductive hearing loss
The disorder is characterized by damage to cells and tissues in the auricle. Pathology is the result of complications of diseases, sulfur plugs or injuries. Incoming sound cannot reach the eardrum.
Sensorineural hearing loss
The disorder is characterized by a decrease in the sensitivity of neurons. Sound fully enters the auditory organ but is much less perceived. At the same time, cells and tissues are not damaged. The causes of the disease are complications of infections and side effects of drugs. A feature of disorder is the appearance of severe sharp pain in the head when the volume of sounds is exceeded.
Sometimes several reasons can affect the development of the disorder. In this case, a person develops a mixed hearing loss. It has more severe effects and complex treatment.
Is a hearing aid an indispensable device for the elderly?
Any treatment begins with a diagnosis, so doctors conduct hearing screening in adults. With its help, otorhinolaryngologists determine the type, causes, and degree of development of the disorder. Results make it possible to prescribe the right course of treatment, consisting of taking medications, physiotherapeutic procedures, and so on.
Unfortunately, senile hearing loss is an irreversible process. With a late call of the patient for help, the doctor can only stop the development of the disorder. However, today there are specialized devices, the so-called hearing aids, which return lost opportunities. These devices fitting for older adults without any restrictions.
Manufacturers produce devices with various designs. Therefore, everyone can choose the most convenient hearing aid that will not interfere in everyday life. An open-fit hearing aid is the most popular among them. It’s a small device that fits completely behind the ear. And a narrow tube is inserted into the ear canal. The feature makes the device inconspicuous and comfortable to wear.
How to choose a suitable hearing aid? A specialist can only do this. The audiologist will perform screening for hearing loss in adults and assign the most effective device. Acoustic comfort, speech understanding and overall quality of life depend on a properly selected device. An unprofessional approach will only exacerbate hearing problems in older adults. Approach this important issue wisely!
How to keep hearing until old age?
We all understand that preventing a disease is much easier than treating it. To preserve your sense organ, you should follow simple rules that will preserve the work of the sensory organ, even in old age.
Carefully monitor your health. Do not self-medicate. Only the right therapeutic course prevents the development of complications. They are the main cause of age-related hearing loss. Check your health every year with the doctor. This will help to identify the disorder at an early stage.
If you have a noisy job, be sure to use earplugs or earphones. They significantly reduce ambient noise, which negatively affects the auditory organ. Use special hygiene sticks to clean the ear canal. This will help prevent sulfur plugs.
Follow these simple recommendations and old age will not be overshadowed by an unpleasant disorder!
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]