Community Blog

What to Expect When a Loved One Develops Age-Related Hearing Loss

By Denise Roskamp

Elder Care in Wellesley MA

Does your elderly parent tend to turn up the volume on their radio or television at extremely high levels? Or do they constantly seem to have problems understanding a conversation with other people? Then they could be suffering from age-related hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, refers to the loss of hearing that gradually occurs over a long period of time and is more prominent in elderly adults.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 in the United States have some form of hearing loss. After the age of 75, this number increases to 50 percent of adults with hearing loss. Seniors with a hearing impairment often need additional help from an elder care provider. This caregiver usually assists with tasks that have become too challenging since the elder’s age-related hearing loss became worse.

What to Expect With Age-Related Hearing Loss

If your loved one has this condition, you need to understand what is to be expected in order to better communicate with and care for your loved one.

Symptoms

If you are worried that the elder has hearing loss, here are some symptoms to watch for.

  • Struggle to hear conversations
  • Finds it challenging to hear a movie in a theater or on TV
  • Hearing in noisy areas is difficult
  • Some sounds may seem too loud for the senior
  • Frequently asking people to repeat what they said
  • Not able to understand conversations over the phone
  • Trouble hearing the difference between “s” and “th” sounds
  • Complains of ringing in the ears
  • Turning up the volume on the TV or radio to unusually loud sounds

Causes

  • Changes in blood flow to the ear
  • The structure of the inner ear changes
  • Damage to the nerves that are responsible for hearing
  • The brain processes speech and sound differently
  • The tiny hairs inside the ear that are responsible for transmitting sounds to the brain are damaged
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to loud noises

Prevention

If your elderly parent has not yet had problems with their hearing, then they are in luck. There is still time to prevent it from happening to them. Some ways to prevent age-related hearing loss are:

  • Avoiding exposure to loud noises or places
  • Wear ear protection when in an area with loud noises. This includes earmuffs and earplugs
  • Diabetics should control their blood sugar

If you suspect that your loved one has hearing loss, talk to their doctor in order to get the treatment they are in need of.

Source:
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN WELLESLEY, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.