Age-Related Hearing Loss: An Overview

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there will be plenty of good food, good times, and interesting conversations. But, for millions of older adults, a good portion of those conversations will be missed due to age-related hearing loss.

If you are noticing that you can't hear as clearly as you used to, then you may be suffering from the gradual loss of hearing that virtually everyone goes through as they age. Here, the experts at The Marshes' Savannah assisted living facility provide a brief overview of this common problem.

What is Age-Related Hearing Loss?

As the body ages, it naturally loses many of its qualities and capabilities it once had. This includes muscle mass, flexibility, vision, and hearing, just to name a few. In terms of hearing loss, this problem is usually a result of one of several key factors, including:

  • Exposure to noise - If you spent your youth working in a loud environment, then your hearing loss could be a result of constant exposure to loud noises. Very loud noises, such as explosions can even damage one's hearing on a permanent level.
  • Changes to the inner ear - As part of the aging process, the bones in the inner ear can weaken or start changing to the point that they actually divert sound from reaching the eardrums. The result is muffled sounds and an inability to detect high-pitched noise levels.

It is important to note that ear wax build-up can also affect one's ability to hear clearly but it is not a part of age-related hearing loss. In this situation, the wax can be removed and the hearing restored. In the case of age-related hearing loss, the loss of hearing is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Symptoms of Age-Related Hearing Loss

In most cases, the signs and symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • The feeling that your ear is plugged
  • Conversations sound muffled
  • Difficulty hearing in environments with a lot of background noise
  • Constantly turning the television or radio volume up
  • Tinnitus (ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ear)
  • Pain, itching, or irritation in the ear
  • Fluid leaking from the ears
  • Feelings of dizziness

How is Age-Related Hearing Loss Treated?

When hearing loss occurs gradually over time, as it does in age-related hearing loss, then it is usually an irreversible condition. But, there are several options available that can help improve one's hearing. These include hearing aids, alert devices, and other practical audio/visual assisting equipment.

Or, you and your doctor can talk about cochlear implants. These are electronic devices that are surgically implanted to provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or severely hard of hearing.

Are There Any Ways to Prevent Age-Related Hearing Loss?

Even though losing one's hearing to some degree is a natural part of the aging process, there are some things you can do to preserve the quality of your hearing as much as possible. These include avoiding loud environments; turning down the volume on the listening devices you use headphones with (MP3 players, cassette players, tablets, etc.); wearing hearing protection when working with power tools, and never putting any foreign objects in your ears.

Visit The Marshes of Skidaway Island's Savannah Assisted Living Facility

The Marshes of Skidaway Island offers a range of health and wellness programs and services for all of our residents. As such, we provide a safe and accommodating environment for people with all manner of health issues. From our state-of-the-art exercise facilities and group exercise programs to our on-site medical services and more, our members have access to all of the resources they need to enjoy optimum health.

To learn more about The Marshes of Skidaway Island or to schedule a visit to our luxurious resort-like Savannah assisted living facility, please call us today at 800-889-6238.