Hearing impairments become more of a reality as we age, affecting about 1 in 3 seniors. Hearing loss can lead to isolation, loneliness, and health problems related to not responding appropriately to certain external stimuli. Seniors must take heed of their changing sense of hearing and understand how they can best manage it going forward.
What Causes Hearing Impairments in Seniors?
There are four general causes of hearing loss in seniors:
- Age-related hearing loss (called presbycusis) is when you start losing your ability to hear higher-pitched sounds as you age.
- Diseases such as meningitis or mumps may also lead to some degree of permanent hearing damage that is undetectable until later years.
- Medications may have side effects related to decreased auditory efficiency.
- Being subjected to excessive noise—such as working with heavy machinery day after day—can cause physical and cognitive damage to a senior's ability to hear clearly down the road.
How Can Seniors Manage Hearing Impairments?
There are various solutions on how seniors can deal with the challenges that come with hearing impairments, including:
Use hearing aids.
Hearing aids are a common and effective way to manage hearing loss. They can amplify sounds and improve speech clarity, making it easier for seniors to hear and communicate with others. There are different types and styles of hearing aids available, so consult with an audiologist to determine the best fit for a senior.
Make lifestyle changes.
Some lifestyle changes can also help seniors manage hearing loss. These include avoiding loud noises, using earplugs or earmuffs in noisy environments, and taking breaks from noisy activities. These small adjustments can reduce the risk of further hearing damage.
Learn lip reading.
Lip reading is a skill that can help seniors understand what others are saying by watching their lips and facial expressions. While it may not be as accurate as hearing, it can be a helpful tool in communication.
Use digital devices.
Several digital devices, such as captioned telephones, personal amplifiers, and TV listening devices, can assist seniors with hearing loss. These devices can help seniors hear better in various situations and make communication easier.
Talk to loved ones.
Seniors with hearing impairment may feel isolated and left out of conversations. Let loved ones know about the hearing loss and how they can help. Family members and friends can speak clearly, face the person when speaking, and reduce background noise to improve communication.
Seek professional help.
Finally, seniors with hearing impairment should seek professional help from an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional. They can diagnose the degree and type of hearing loss and recommend the best treatment options, including hearing aids and other assistive devices.
Are You Struggling With Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is a part of aging that can significantly impact the quality of life of seniors. While there are no cures for auditory impairments, there are several ways to manage them. Senior Helpers Bryan/College Station serving Bryan, Conroe, College Station, Livingston, Montgomery, and Huntsville, offer comprehensive support services to seniors so they can remain safe and independent in their homes. We can help with medication reminders, transportation to hearing appointments, and more.
If you or a loved one living in the area requires assistance at home, contact us today!