One of the most common disabilities to affect seniors is age-related hearing loss, clinically known as presbycusis. The risk of presbycusis increases as someone grows older. By age 75, nearly half of adults will experience some degree of hearing difficulty. If you or a loved one is displaying signs of age-related hearing loss, it’s time for a visit to an audiologist.
Signs and Symptoms of Age-Related Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss typically progresses gradually. Initially, patients might have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, such as a child’s voice. Other indicators of age-related hearing loss can include problems hearing in areas that have a lot of background noise (like restaurants), turning up the volume on the TV louder than usual, and having trouble differentiating between “s” and “th” sounds. Ringing in the ears, having trouble talking on the phone, and frequently asking people to repeat themselves are other indicators.
Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss
Older age is associated with changes in the inner ear, such as changes in how blood flows to the ear and alterations in the structure of the inner ear. Over time, the tiny hairs in the ear (responsible for transmitting sound to the brain) can become damaged, and the brain might no longer process sound and speech as efficiently. All of these changes can contribute to age-related hearing loss.
Other risk factors of age-related hearing loss can include having diabetes, having poor circulation, and being exposed to loud noises. Smoking, a family history of hearing loss, and the use of certain medications can also contribute.
Life with Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, there is no cure for age-related hearing loss. However, an audiologist can help patients cope. Hearing aids can help restore hearing. In severe cases, patients might consider taking lessons in lip reading and sign language.
If you or a loved one has experienced medical issues and needs skilled nursing services, you can count on the team at Life Care Center of Sierra Vista to provide compassionate care. They offer both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, providing personalized treatment plans tailored to the needs of each patient. You can reach their office in Sierra Vista, AZ, at (520) 458-1050.