Adults are not uncommonly suffering from age-related hearing loss. It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults over 65 suffers from hearing loss as a result of ageing. Hearing loss of this kind usually occurs gradually and equally in both ears.
While infection in the ear or similar factors can cause temporary hearing issues, hearing loss can be also permanent with increasing age. Loss of hearing in old age is called presbycusis and it may happen due to changes of damage in the auditory nerve.
Presbycusis may start from the age of 40s when you might notice having some trouble in hearing high-frequency sounds and it keeps on worsening with age. Usually, the condition of presbycusis is noticed in aged individuals in many families today.
Causes of Hearing Loss for Old Aged People
By converting sound waves to electrical signals, the brain perceives sound through the ear canal. A number of factors can contribute to hearing problem in old age:
- 1. Rupture of the eardrum or inner ear damage due to a combination of loud noises and ageing
- 2. Loss of sensory receptors, commonly known as hair cells in the inner ear
- 3. Hereditary factors are also quite common in the case of presbycusis
- 4. Even side effects from some medications can also lead to the onset of presbycusis
Depending upon the cause, presbycusis can be of four types and these are sensory, strial, cochlear conductive, and neural.
Health Effects of Hearing Loss in Old People
Often presbycusis or hearing loss with ageing hampers cognitive abilities such as concentration and memory. Such disabilities lead to one of the major diseases, dementia, which is mostly found in older people.
Also, because of hearing loss conditions, communication skill is also hampered and most people with the symptoms tend to draw back from their social networks with time. This leads to another major issue, depression. Depression often occurs because the loss of hearing restricts you from socializing which leads to emotional breakdown.
Treatment and Devices to Manage Hearing Loss
Although there is no way to prevent hearing loss caused by changes in morphology, earplugs can reduce damage caused by loud noises by protecting ears from damage. The inner ear’s sensory receptors do not self-repair when damaged, so the hearing ability is diminished when they are damaged.
With technological advancements, people with hearing loss now have a variety of options to continue living a normal life. A number of devices are available that convert sound into light or vibrational energy, including hearing aids, assistive technologies, and others. Some options of hearing aid for old age are barely noticeable, while others are behind the ear or in the canal. The level of hearing loss can also be adjusted with hearing aids from mild to severe.
It is usually used to treat severe hearing loss with cochlear implants, while mild to moderate hearing loss is treated with hearing aids. The conversion of sound energy into other forms of energy is novel in assistive technologies, including infrared and teletypewriters, accessible to the hearing impaired.
Get Instant Support From GLobal Hearing Experts
The feeling of support is also important when one is suffering from a condition such as hearing loss. You will be more supportive and assisted on your journey if you let your loved ones know about your condition. As well as reducing the frustrations and impacts of hearing loss on day-to-day life, there are other steps you can take to manage it.