Access to sound is one of the ways individuals interact with and explore the world. An individual with diminished hearing struggles to obtain information about the surrounding environment. Diminished sensory cues and impaired hearing can be merely annoying or actual threats to senior health.
Impaired hearing requires a difficult adjustment for older people. Hearing loss places the individual at increased social-emotional risk. Declining sense of taste and smell may arrive with hearing loss. These causes may result in the senior’s lack of interest in meals. Weight loss may occur when the senior might not need to lose body fat.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
The facts concerning age-related hearing loss point out the challenges that seniors face. Chronic health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and others accelerate the likelihood of hearing or vision loss. Declining hearing loss may affect up to half of all Americans over the age of 65.
Approximately one-third of Americans between age 65 and 74 develop some level of hearing loss. Americans over the age of 75 are most likely to develop significant hearing loss. Non-specific effects of aging, loud noise, and disease or brain-related issues are the most frequent causes for this group’s accelerating rate of hearing loss. About one-third of Americans also experience cognitive declines along with hearing loss.
The ability to hear stimulates the brain. Multi-sensory losses are likely to affect neural plasticity that continues throughout life. Senior health improves with the ability to hear well.
Although the brain’s ability to learn is highest in childhood, brain stimulation can help people of all ages to enjoy life. For many reasons, older persons with declining hearing loss can benefit from interventions. Hearing devices should be considered to amplify sound. Even significant hearing loss can be corrected with hearing devices.
Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
Today’s hearing aids are smaller. Many people enjoy wearing a hearing aid that no one else notices. Some simple rules, including how to change hearing aid batteries, are all that is necessary to enjoy hearing and connecting with others again.
Severe to profound hearing loss may be treatable. The audiologist or otolaryngologist can give the individual with hearing loss the facts. The doctor can tell the individual if he or she is a candidate for cochlear implants. Cochlear implants do not restore normal hearing, but they can make a huge difference in senior health.
Although the causes of hearing loss are many, the impact of hearing loss can be softened for some people. Impaired hearing is sometimes called an “invisible” condition. Get the facts. Seniors benefit from technology and interventions to improve the access to sound.