The National Institute On Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have stated that 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74 has a hearing loss. For adults over the age of 75, it’s almost 50% of the population.
It’s hardly surprising then that many people feel hearing loss is just part of getting older. Many find it difficult to accept a hearing loss, with symptoms going untreated for up to 7 years before they seek professional help.
Common Hearing Problems in Older Adults
Untreated hearing loss can have wider implications on your health. It can increase risks of Alzheimer’s disease, increase risk of injury, or lead to social isolation. Without intervention, the hearing loss is also likely to worsen. So what are the common hearing problems older adults should be aware of?
Age Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis)
This is a gradual reduction of hearing as you get older, and usually presents fairly evenly in both ears. It tends to be hereditary and related to changes in the inner ear or auditory nerve during aging. It’s easily dismissed as it goes unnoticed, gradually getting worse over the years. Symptoms may include difficulty tolerating loud noises or understanding conversation.
A clicking, hissing, roaring, ringing or other sounds are common symptoms of tinnitus. It can be linked to age related hearing loss, blocked ear wax or other medical conditions. It can be loud or quiet, constant or occasional, and can occur in one or both ears. It’s typically worth booking in an appointment with your local hearing care professional if you experience symptoms of tinnitus.
Sudden Hearing Loss
This can be immediate or occur over a period of up to 3 days. A sudden loss of hearing is a medical emergency. Please contact your doctor ASAP.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the result of exposure to dangerous noise levels. Loud noise can permanently damage the delicate inner ear and also cause tinnitus. It’s the most common cause of hearing loss, due to either prolonged/repeated exposure to noise.
Exposure may be the result of prolonged exposure to power-machines, loud music or traffic. It can also be caused by single exposure to an extremely loud noise, like explosions, gunfire, or airplanes.
NIHL is preventable if you take appropriate measures to protect your hearing, and limit your exposure to dangerous levels of noise. Read more about Noise-Induced Hearing Loss here.
Need Help? Have a Question?
If you have any concerns about an existing condition, or a history of hearing conditions in your family, we recommend you book an appointment. At Hearing, Balance & Speech Center, our hearing care professionals would be happy to give you a hearing assessment. Once your baseline hearing has established, we’ll talk you through the available treatment options. Give us a call on 203-774-5642 to arrange an appointment, or click here to request one online.