Call them baby boomers, seniors, old hippies, or deadheads, they all have something in common — they attended concerts in the early days of rock, and thought nothing of the giant speakers blaring out guitar music. Maybe you were one of them, and maybe you have some age-related hearing loss. It is certainly not the only reason many seniors are hearing impaired, but it surely contributed to it. Let’s look at some other causes and what you should know about age-related hearing loss.
Presbycusis is the medical name for age-related hearing loss. As we get older, we begin to have decreased hearing ability. It usually occurs in both ears and can begin as early as your 30s or 40s, and it gradually becomes worse over time.
At first, it becomes difficult to understand what people are saying, especially when there is additional background noise, like in a restaurant.
As the hearing disability increases, many cannot distinguish the location of sounds. You may also develop tinnitus or ringing in ears, and balance problems, known as presbystasis.
Basic communication suffers as time passes, which can lead to isolation and reluctance to socialize with others. In addition, it can become dangerous if you can’t hear important sounds like car horns and the direction of emergency vehicles while driving.
Genetic Hearing Loss
It is estimated that 35% of age-related hearing loss is due to genetics. A child can be born with a hearing loss, and others are born with genes causing them to develop hearing loss later in life.
This type of congenital hearing loss is inherited from parents.
According to the National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders, only 20% of those who are hearing impaired seek treatment. 36 million Americans have hearing loss, including 17% of adults.
Hearing Aid Technology Has Changed
Many of those with hearing loss refuse to acknowledge it. It could be due to embarrassment, feeling self conscious about wearing a hearing aid, or thinking only really old people need them.
Whatever the reason you have been postponing an auditory evaluation, consider doing it now. Most new hearing aids are virtually invisible and no one will even know you are wearing them.
If you have been reluctant to get treatment for your age-related hearing loss, contact Surgical Associates Northwest and discover how a hearing aid can change your life for the better. Call (253) 833-4050 to schedule an appointment today.