It’s easy to take something as fundamental as hearing for granted. At first, you might not notice the loss of a subtle sound or two. When you do notice, you might worry about the underlying cause. Today, we’re looking at the causes of hearing loss in older adults. We’ll also cover the things you can do once you notice a hearing loss, to prevent things getting any worse.
What are the major causes of hearing loss in older adults?
There are two typical types of hearing loss called conductive and sensorineural. Diagnosis of one or the other is dictated by the point at which soundwaves get interrupted when they enter the ear. For conducive loss, they stop in the outer or middle ear, while with a sensorineural loss, they stop at the inner ear.
Conductive loss can happen at any age. It typically involves foreign objects or a blockage of some kind in the outer or middle ear. However, it can result from genetics, ill health, or head trauma as well.
Sensorineural loss can also happen at any age. However, it may occur in older adults as a natural result of aging. It is also common in the over 50s because some of the causes, such as loud noise and toxicity, take time to affect the inner ear. Long-term damage begins to show by this age. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be the results of genetics, ill health, and head trauma.
Is there anything you can do?
It’s important to be vigilant when it comes to your hearing, especially in later life. At Beltone, we can give you various tips to help you protect your hearing. Once you start to notice a change in your hearing abilities, regardless of the cause, it is important to get a hearing assessment. This will give you an accurate picture of what is going on. It will help you and your hearing instrument specialist from Beltone decide what support you might need. Ignoring hearing problems and trying to carry on regardless can cause further complications. It may speed up the progress of various mental and physical conditions. This is of particular concern for people over the age of 80. More than 50% of adults have some kind of hearing difficulty at this age.
What can you do?
Beltone hearing aids and accessories can support a treatment plan that is designed to enhance your experience of the world. This helps to keep your auditory system up and running. With regular tests and adjustments to your plan, you can significantly slow the progress of hearing loss.
How do you get started?
Beltone has 39 branches where you can have free hearing evaluations in Ohio and Michigan. You can book an appointment at a branch that’s close to your home or work – whichever is most convenient for you. Once you arrive, we will assess you to narrow down the possible cause of your hearing loss and suggest the most appropriate treatment.