As you age, it’s common to lose some of your hearing. So common, in fact, that almost 1 in 2 adults over the age of 65 are affected. There are a number of factors why people lose their hearing as they age. Always seek advice of a licensed Hearing Care Professional for anything that is “bothering” you with your hearing. Although it’s not a serious life-threatening condition, it could have a serious impact on the quality of life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Most hearing loss occurs gradually as people age and is due to changes in the inner ear. Some of the changes that commonly occur in the inner ear are:
- Less blood flow to the ear
- Head Nerve impairment
- Changes in the way the brain processes speech and sound
- Damage to cilia–– the tiny hairs in the inner ear that are responsible for transmitting sound to the brain
Plus, there are other conditions that can result in hearing loss, such as:
- Poor circulation
- Exposure to Loud noises
- Smoking related ear disfunction
- Family history of hearing loss
- Taking certain medications
What Are the Symptoms?
Here are some of the tell-tale signs of age-related hearing loss:
- Inability to hear high-pitched sounds
- Inability to hear the voices of higher pitched voices–– such as the voices of children and some women
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
- Certain sounds seeming too loud
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty hearing the TV or radio at a normal volume
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Difficulty hearing on the phone
Note: These are all symptoms that should be followed up on with an ENT doctor, who can give you a complete exam (see an Audiologist) to determine if the hearing loss is a symptom of something more serious.
What Is the Treatment?
While there is no cure for age-related hearing loss, there are ways to treat the condition. If hearing loss is severe, a doctor may recommend a cochlear implant–– a small electronic device that’s surgically implanted in the ear. But many times, doctors will recommend hearing aids.