Elderly Deafness, pt. 1

Don’t Ignore Signs of Bad Hearing

According to the National Institute on Deafness, one third of those over 60 and half of those over 85 have hearing loss. While a hearing loss is considered a normal part of aging, it can make life increasingly difficult for those affected.

Deafness can cause a tremendous amount of isolation, frustration, and anxiety.  Simple tasks such as following a doctor’s advice can be very difficult.  Appropriate response time and function to safety warnings such as doorbells, phones, fire alarms, and home security alarms can be slowed.  Deafness can also be a convenient excuse to skip out on social conversations – which further exacerbates elderly isolation.

If you or a senior you know has presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), you may have a difficult time hearing what others are saying or may be unable to tolerate loud sounds.  Sitting in a crowded restaurant with loud background noise can be intolerable.  Or, watching the TV with volume levels turned up can lead to others leaving the room, thereby effectively isolating the senior to watch alone.  The loss of this kind of hearing is usually progressive.

Hearing loss may also be the result of exposure to loud noises over a long time, viral or bacterial infections, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, a punctured ear drum, wax buildup, reaction to medication, or heredity. My father combines old age and wax buildup to describe his hearing loss.

Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can grow worse. That’s why it is strongly recommended that elders experiencing hearing loss see a physician. A doctor may suggest that you also see an audiologist, who are professionals trained to measure hearing. An audiologist will use an audiometer to test your ability to hear sounds of different pitch and loudness. It’s a painless test that can determine the benefits of a hearing aid, and if so which kind will work best.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website: https://homecarepartnersma.com

Comments are closed.