Age-related hearing loss affects nearly 36-million Americans in 2019. This disorder is one of the most prevalent signs of aging, and the chances are you have a family member or friend that listens to the TV with the volume turned way up because they can’t hear clearly.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, age-related hearing loss can have a tremendous impact on the psychological health of the affected individual. Seniors that start to lose their hearing may not notice the effects of the condition until some else points it out to them. As a result, they find themselves asking people to repeat their sentences – because they didn’t catch it the first time.
While age-related hearing loss is a challenging health disorder to live with, most doctors can successfully treat the condition with the use of hearting devices. Hearing aids amplify speech while minimizing background noise – allowing the affected individual to hear clearly in any indoor or outdoor environment.
Hearing Loss Can Occur at Any Age
In some cases, hearing loss occurs in people as young as 30-years old. Contributing factors to early-onset hearing loss include infection with bacteria and viruses that cause permanent damage to the ear canal and vestibular system. The measles, mumps, chicken pox, and shingles are examples of diseases that can have hearing loss occur as one of the symptoms of infection.
Hearing Loss Due to Infection
Another frequent cause of early-onset hearing occurs due to blunt force trauma to the ear or side of the head. This impact can damage the nerve endings in the inner and middle ear, resulting in hearing loss and disruptions in spatial awareness, as well as balance issues.
Hearing Loss Due to Environmental Factors
People that spend their careers around noisy, heavy machinery may also develop early-onset hearing loss. Any sounds above 120-decibels are incredibly damaging to the sensitive nerve endings in your ears. Damaging these hairs results in hearing loss, as well as the development of hearing disorders such as tinnitus.
Hearing Loss Due to Genetics
In rare cases, hearing loss can occur due to congenital disabilities. Genetics play a role in hearing loss, and your rate of hearing loss may be dependent on your parent’s experience with the condition, as well as contributing environmental factors.
Treating Early-Onset Hearing Loss
In most cases, it’s possible to slow the progression of early-onset hearing loss with the use of rechargeable hearing aids that increase the sensory input to your ears, allowing you to hear correctly. Hearing aids will eventually lose their efficiency, and you may go completely deaf, depending on your situation – speak to your doctor for further advice on your condition and hearing devices.
Age Risk Factors for Hearing Loss
More than 50-percent of seniors over the age of 75-years old have problems with hearing loss. Research shows that the condition typically starts around the age of 65-years old, and deteriorates slowly over the coming decades of the senior’s twilight years.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cure the condition, and affected individuals can expect their hearing to continue to diminish. Using hearing aid devices can help you cope with the hearing loss, speak to your audiologist about fitment with a set of affordable hearing aids.
Failing to Treat Hearing Loss
As previously mentioned, age-related hearing loss is a gradual condition that develops over the course of decades. Many seniors are unaware of their current state of hearing ability, and in most cases, it takes an intervention to show them their hearing is suffering.
However, those seniors that live by themselves may not realize that their hearing is going. As a result, they start to withdraw from conversations and social contact because they can no longer take part in the discussion.
This behavior leads to self-isolation and the development of mental health issues; such as depression and anxiety. Seniors living with elevated levels of stress, anxiety, and depression often begin to experience symptoms of cognitive decline. Any individual predisposed to developing Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia will likely experience a rapid increase in symptoms related to the disease.
However, depression presents the most significant risk associated with a decline in mental health. Seniors may start to feel lonely, and entertain thoughts of suicide.
Treating Hearing Loss
While hearing loss can have a significant impact on the affected individual’s quality of life, it’s possible to slow the progression of the symptoms using modern technology for assistance. Hearing aids are a fantastic tool for maintaining your hearing ability, even as hearing loss starts to occur.
Visit a specialist audiologist for a diagnosis of your condition. The specialist runs a battery of tests to determine the extent of your hearing loss, as well as what you can expect in the future. After their examination, your audiologist recommends the best hearing aids for dealing with your symptoms.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are various types of hearing aids available. The most common being the BTE, or “Behind the Ear,” option. These hearing aid devices connect to an audio tube and an earpiece that sits in the ear canal.
The device interprets sounds, recognizing the difference between background noise and speech – providing the user with an excellent auditory experience. Moist affordable hearing aids offer a decent level of functionality that allows the senior to return to the conversation and improve their quality of life.
The Cost of Your Hearing Aid
Read through a few hearing aid reviews, and you’re bound to notice that hearing aids come in a wide range of prices and designs. However, you don’t always need to buy the most expensive model to gain good functionality from your device.
Some cheap hearing aids perform as well as the leading brands. Models such as the “HearingHero,” are affordable hearing aids with the same features you find on the top models available. Hearing aid price does not always translate to performance, so make sure you do your research before you commit to your purchase.
Hearing aid cost should be the last criteria that concern you when choosing your device. Speak to your insurance company – some states and schemes offer contributions to the cost of your hearing aids.