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Age-Related Hearing Loss: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Aging is one of the unavoidable processes of life that change who you are and how you live. When you start aging, you often lose the basic body functions and one of those functions is your ability to hear. Hearing loss is quite common in the aging population, especially people who are over 65 years of age. The degree of hearing loss varies from person to person.

Some people ignore age-related hearing loss by naming it as a common phenomenon whiles some get worried about it and decide to see an expert. We suggest that you let your doctor know that this change is happening and don’t worry about it much because stressing over it won’t do any good.  Also remember that if left untreated, it can impact your quality of life.

Common Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss

The key cause of age-related hearing loss varies from person to person. Some of the common causes of age-related hearing loss are:

  •       Changes in how blood flows to your ear
  •       Changes in the inner structure of your ear
  •       Weakening of the nerves that allow you to hear
  •       Damage to tiny hairs in your ear that allow smooth transmission of sound to your brain
  •       Changes in ways in which your brain processes sound and speed

Some other factors that make an aging person vulnerable to age-related hearing loss are:

  •       Diabetes (One in three Canadians live with diabetes)
  •       Poor blood circulation
  •       Using specific medications
  •       Exposure to loud noises
  •       Smoking
  •       Family history of loss of hearing

Key Symptoms of Hearing Loss Due to Aging 

Seniors who take care of their body and health by being active, eating well, ordering vitamins from HaloHealthCare.com and exercising regularly are less likely to have hearing loss problem. Often seniors don’t realize that age related hearing loss is impacting their life until it’s too late. Make sure that you are not one of such seniors by keeping the following symptoms in mind. You are impacted by age-related hearing loss if you:

  •       Are unable to hear high-pitched sounds
  •       Find it difficult to hear the voices of children and females
  •       Face difficulty in hearing background noises
  •       Need to ask people to repeat themselves when they are talking to you
  •       Think that specific sounds are too loud
  •       Can’t hear properly in crowded areas
  •       Find it difficult to distinguish between “th” and “s” sounds
  •       Often feel ringing in your ears
  •       Listen to television or radio at a higher volume than normal
  •       Face difficulties in understanding telephone conversations clearly

In case you have one or more of these symptoms, don’t ignore them as they can be a sign of some other medical conditions that if untreated can deteriorate your health.

Diagnoses of Aging-Related Hearing Loss

Only a qualified doctor is able to diagnose aging related hearing loss. When you tell him or her about the symptoms mentioned above, it is very likely that he or she will conduct a full physical exam to ensure that the hearing loss is only age related and there is nothing else. As a part of the process, the doctor might use an otoscope to look inside your ears. Once it is confirmed that you have age related hearing loss, the doctor might recommend you to visit an audiologist, a hearing specialist who will most likely perform a hearing test to decide how much hearing loss has already taken place and what can be done to control the situation from deteriorating.

Treatment of Age-Related Hearing Loss

Though there is no permanent cure for age-related hearing loss, your doctor or audiologist can help you improve your quality of life by recommending some of the following actions:

  •       You make use of hearing aids or assistive devices like telephone amplifiers.
  •       You learn lip reading or sign language to communicate better.
  •       You purchase a cochlear implant that will make sounds louder than they are.

Prevention of Age-Related Hearing Loss

Though preventing age-related hearing loss completely is not possible, you can still take a few steps to ensure that it doesn’t go from bad to worse in a short amount of time. When you suspect or know that you have age-related hearing loss, try the following methods:

  •       Wear ear protection while visiting the places where you expect loud sounds, like a concert.
  •       Avoid loud sounds as much as possible.
  •       Control your blood sugar levels if you already have diabetes.
  •       Never try risky methods like ear candling that do more harm than good.

Conclusion

In essence, it can be said that though age-related hearing loss is unavoidable for all people, there are steps you can take to ensure that the age-related hearing loss doesn’t progress too swiftly and has a lot of impact on your quality of life. The most crucial step that needs to be taken is to visit a doctor as soon as the symptoms appear and follow his or her instructions to the letter.

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