Hearing loss becomes more likely as you age. Data shows us that nearly 25% of adults aged 65-74 and 50% of those over 75 have disabling hearing loss. Other research indicated that in the United States, the prevalence of hearing loss doubles with every 10-year increase in age.
Causes of Age-related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, known technically as presbycusis, occurs because aging makes it more likely you experience changes to your inner ear and/or auditory nerve, which affect hearing. This change can happen simply due to the aging process itself, or other factors such as:
- Family history
- Regular exposure to loud noise either through work or a hobby like hunting
- Medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, which can affect the blood vessels
- Taking certain medications that can damage the ears
Taking Steps To Protect Your Hearing
While not all hearing loss can be prevented, there are steps you can take to help protect your ears as you age and reduce your risk of damage. These include:
- Using hearing protection like earplugs in loud environments
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoiding medications that can damage your hearing, when possible
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Because the likelihood increases with age, some people accept hearing loss as inevitable and not worth treating. However, left untreated, hearing loss can lead to additional and potentially serious health problems, including an increased risk of:
- Depression and anxiety
- Balance problems and injuries from falls
- Cognitive decline and dementia
Knowing these risks, it’s important to look out for the early signs of hearing loss. Schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you notice that:
- People sound like they are mumbling, and/or you need them to repeat themselves often
- Phone conversations are hard to hear
- You experience a ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- It’s harder to follow conversations in places with a lot of background noise, like Firestone Grill
- You need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio louder than you used to
Find the Right Pair of Hearing Aids for You
If the results of your hearing test indicate hearing loss, your audiologist will likely recommend treatment with hearing aids. Though they may not be able to restore your hearing completely back to normal, hearing aids can dramatically improve your ability to perceive speech and sounds.
Using hearing aids allows you to communicate with others more easily and can help reduce your risk of health issues linked with untreated hearing loss.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The House Institute today.