04 Nov A Change in Hearing?
Hearing loss can happen at any age due to exposure to loud noises, loss of hair cells, inherited factors, health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, and even side effects from medications. One of the top reasons; however, is Presbycusis.
Presbycusis is a common condition in the aging population which is a gradual hearing loss that often goes unnoticed and leads to loss of hearing in both ears. These changes can happen in the inner ear, the middle ear and along the nerve pathway to the brain.
Presbycusis is so common that approximately 1 in 3 people aged 65 years and older have this condition.
Due to its gradual onset, this loss of hearing may not always be apparent in its early stages. The symptoms to be on the lookout for if you’re concerned about your own hearing or that of someone you love as you age include:
- Tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ear, that happens in 1 or both ears
- A struggle to understand conversations, particularly with background noise
- Trouble understanding high pitched sounds such as “s” or “th”
- Women’s voices become more difficult to hear than men’s voices
- Speech becomes mumbled or slurred
Should these symptoms present themselves, make an appointment with a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can use an otoscope and check for damage to the outer ear canal and the ear drum. Other concerns the healthcare professional would be checking for would be wax, inflammation or infection. Should a visual check-up not reveal an apparent damage, an audiologist may be called upon for further investigation and diagnosis.
The great news is that many people who have experienced hearing loss are living full lives with today’s technology and minimum inconvenience. Hearing aids have shown many advancements over the years. Discreetly sized, affordable and popular with today’s aging population, many hearing aids even come with remote control and Bluetooth connectivity.
Need more information on the next step for your hearing health?